Citation
Little Ada's jewels

Material Information

Title:
Little Ada's jewels
Creator:
Levien, Fanny. ( Author, Primary )
Marcus Ward & Co ( Illustrator )
Royal Ulster Works ( Printer )
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
Marcus Ward & Co.
Manufacturer:
Royal Ulster Works
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
1875
Language:
English
Physical Description:
144 p., [4] leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 15 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Baldwin -- 1875
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Christmas -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Family stories -- 1875 ( rbgenr )
Nannies -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Winter sports -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Genre:
Family stories ( local )

Notes

General Note:
Plates are onlays in an elaborate gilt border and printed in colors.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Fanny Levien

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
LTUF ( alh3411 )
OCLC ( 60654489 )
AlephBibNum ( 002233010 )

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Full Text




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Hittle Ada’s Iewels







LITTLE ADA’S JEWELS

BY

FANNY LEVIEN



Landon:
MARCUS WARD & CO., 67, CHANDOS STREET
AND ROYAL ULSTER WORKS, BELFAST
1875







CONTENTS.





CHAP. PAGE
I.—THE JEWEL IN THE SNOW ; . Z 7
II.—CuHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS . . : 16
III.—THE SLEDGE : . ‘ . « . 34
IV.—FATHER’S TALE ; 2 a . 44
V.—SUNSHINE AND SHOWERS 5 : - 63
VI.—BIRTH-DAY PRESENTS . ‘ : i 76
VII.—NuRSE's TALE . . . ‘ 99
VIII.—A SuDDEN VISIT : : : : 96
IX.—Hopes AND FEARS a 5 : oc Le
X.—THE JEWELS FOUND . 6 ‘ . 133
OOO ane aa
ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE BARREL ORGAN (p. 11). : . Frontispiece.
PAGE
THE SLEDGE (see Cover) . . - . «37
DOLLY TAKES TEA ‘. . . . : 7°
‘In LANDS OF SHINING FLOWERS.” . . + 94

MAKING GARLANDS. . . . . 132













LITTLE ADA’S JEWELS.



CHAP. I.—THE JEWEL IN THE SNOW.

qos Ada was looking out of the window,
Sq feeling very much inclined to cry. Would you
like to know why?

It was a very cold winter’s day, but the sun was
shining, and the snow looked so white and nice, just
as if all the world had turned into a great sugar-
basin ; and down below, in the garden, Ada’s two
brothers, Regie and Frank, and her two sisters, Edith
and Mary, were running about laughing and snow-
balling each other. But nurse had said Ada
must not go out, because she had a cold; and it was
such stupid work watching all the fun from the



8 Little Ada’s Fewels.
nursery window, that Ada had to shut her eyes quite
tight to keep back the tears.

How they ran about in the garden, to be sure!
Regie made such big snowballs that Frank was soon
as white as a miller, and Edith and Mary were almost
as floury-looking.

“Oh dear!” sighed Ada, as her eyes came open
and filled with tears; “what fun it must be out in
the snow !”

“Come, Miss Ada,” said nurse, “ don’t stand there
fretting—what’s the good ?”

“T want to go out in the snow and play,” returned
Ada, in a rather doleful voice.

“T know that,” said nurse; and she really did know
it, for Ada had said so six times already. “But you
can’t go to-day, you know, because you are not well.
Never mind ; better luck to-morrow, I hope. Now,
make yourself happy indoors.”

This was very good advice, to be sure; but it is
not always easy to be happy when we are told.

“ Indoors is a stupid place,” said Ada. ‘“ There’s
no snow there.”

Nurse seemed somewhat hurt at this remark—
“Snow, indeed!” she cried; “I should hope not.



The Fewel in the Snow. 9



Look at poor baby in his bed ; what would he do if
it were full of snow, do you think ?”

“ But wouldn’t it be nice if we had something that
shone like the snow and could be made into snow-
balls, only that didn’t melt? What fun we should
have here, then! I wonder what it could be? Per-
haps precious stones, like mamma’s rings, all
chopped up small. Do you think you could chop up
precious stones, nurse ?”

“‘T shouldn’t wish to be so mischievous, miss ; but
I suppose you could, if you tried hard enough.”

Ada thought a moment, then began again. “Do
you think I could find any precious stones, nurse 1
There are so many stones about.”

“Perhaps you might—some fine day when it
rains.”

Ada sighed ; she had so often heard of that fine
day ; but all the fine days she remembered, it had not
rained. “TI wish I could find some; how fine I
would make the room look! And baby would like
that too,” said Ada, looking towards the bed, where
two or three brown curls on a pillow were all that
could be seen of baby. However, some idea that he
was being talked about seemed to disturb him at



10; Little Ada’s Fewels.



the moment, for he put out a little fat hand and
made some efforts to sit up. Nurse exclaimed that
he had only been in bed half-an-hour, and what a
thing it was! But baby seemed so sure in his own
mind that he had been in bed long enough, that
there was nothing for it but to take him up.

“And now, Miss Ada, you come and play with
him nicely,” said nurse, and baby made a great
business of trotting across the room to his sister.
He came in a great hurry, sometimes running to the
right, sometimes to the left, and stopping at all the
chairs on his way. It was quite a journey for him
to get all across the nursery by himself, for he was
not yet two years old, and had not run alone very
long.

Ada turned towards him and away from the snow,
as it luckily struck her that if she could not be happy
herself, she might make baby happy. He was ina
great hurry to reach her, and taking hold of her hand
began to pull her towards the other side of the room.
He could not say much at present, but he pulled the
people and pointed to the things he wanted, and that
was enough for him,

“What does baby want?” said Ada. And baby,



The Fewel in the Snow. 11



with a great deal of pointing, said something that
sounded like ‘“ Moo, moo!”

This certainly seemed to have something to do with
a cow ; but that was not baby’s meaning, as Ada well
knew. He was talking about the music of a funny ~
little barrel organ, the handle of which baby could
turn, to his great satisfaction.

“Does baby want the pretty music?” asked little
Ada ; and she lifted it down for him ; then they sat
down on the ground and played with it. They
listened to it, and opened the lid, and peeped in to
see where the music came from; such funny music
it was too, jumping and jerking as baby tugged at
the handle. (See Frontispiece.) He was charmed
with his own playing, though, and laughed to hear it,
and so did Ada, till she quite forgot about the snow.

Look at the picture and see how happy they look.
There is baby working away at his music, and
watching the little reels go round inside; and Ada
just as pleased as he. She does not think indoors a
stupid place now—does she ?

It is such a good thing to try and make other
people happy when you cannot be happy yourself.
It ends in your all being happy together.



12 Little Ada’s Fewels.



By-and-by baby gave up his music, and pulled
Ada to the window, where she helped him up on the
window-seat to see what was going on in the garden.
The snowballing had come to an end, and there were
Regie and Frank and Edith and Mary all very busy
with the little spades they had had at the sea-side,
making a snow man. Such a very odd man he was.
I never saw a real man like him, and I hope I never
may; for he had no head, or neck, or arms, to
speak of, but stood looking like a little hill of snow.
However, they did give him eyes and nose and
mouth; the eyes were two stones, and the nose
and mouth two holes they had made with their
spades. At last Regie got a bit of stick for a pipe,
and put it in his mouth. Then he looked more
like a man than ever; for who but a man would
smoke a pipe?

Then the children laughed and clapped their hands
to see the snow man look so real, and baby and Ada
laughed and clapped too.

But just in the midst of their fun came the
dressing-bell, ten minutes before dinner-time ; and as
the snow man’s friends were very hungry, they all
turned their backs upon him very readily, and rushed

»



The Fewel tn the Snow. 13



into the house. Upstairs they ran and into the
nursery, all talking and laughing at once; and baby
trotted to meet them, laughing too. Ada, however,
stood still by the window, looking and looking as if
she saw some very strange thing outside.

“Hullo, Ada! what do you see?” cried Regie.
“Ts the snow man smoking his pipe so fast that he
is melting ?”

The children laughed again, but Ada went up to
her brother very gravely, and told him to stoop down,
she wanted to whisper in his ear.

Regie did as he was asked, and Ada whispered,
“T want to find a precious stone, and I think I see
one in the garden.”

“Not likely, Ada,” returned Regie, wisely.
“People have to go down great dark holes to find
them, I think. Where do you think it is ”

“You can see it from the window,” said Ada,
“shining and shining close by your snow man.” She
pointed out the place to him, and all the others came
crowding round to hear what Ada’s secret was, while
Regie ran down to pick up her treasure. Ada
watched from the window with sparkling eyes ; saw
him run out, reach the spot, pick up the shining



14 Little Ada’s Fewiels.



thing, wave his hand to the window, and run in
again. Then upstairs he came, two stairs at a time.
Ada ran to meet him.

“Tm very sorry, Ada,” he panted, laughing, “ you
have not been lucky enough to find a diamond this
time. Guess what it is.”

“A pearl,”.said Ada. “Oh! do pearls shine,
though ?”

“No!” he said, laughing. “ And don’t you know,
Ada, pearls come up out of the sea—the oysters have
them in their shells.”

“ How funny!” said little Ada. ‘Fishes can’t want
pearl rings—and besides, they couldn’t wear them,
for they haven’t any fingers. But what was my
thing, Regie? Do tell me! Was it anything the
fairies had left ?”

“ Not they,” said Regie. ‘“ Don’t you know nurse’s
story, that all the jewels the fairies drop turn into
dew when the sun rises? This is not anything
belonging to the fairies—it was a very good thing
once, I daresay, and ever so useful, Ada, only it’s
broken now. Can’t you guess ”

“T thought it was a diamond,” faltered Ada,
looking wistfully at the hand he held behind him.



The Fewel in the Snow. 15



“ But I told you that it wasn’t a diamond this time,”
and he held it out to her.

How disappointed little Ada was to see only a piece
of a broken bottle. It had looked so bright in the
sunshine. Poor little Ada nearly cried again, but
nurse said as usual, “ Never mind ; better luck next
time.”

So Ada hoped to find a real precious stone on

that fine day when it rained ; and then they all went
to dinner,







CHAP. II,—CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS,

af as glad to tell you that little Ada’s cold had
quite gone the next day, though the snow still
remained, and the sun made it sparkle as it had
done yesterday.

“T may go out to-day ?” she asked nurse, almost as
goon as she got out of bed that morning.

“ We'll see about it,” said nurse, in a hopeful tone,
which quite satisfied the little girl.

Ada knew that when things were “ seen about” in
that way they were pretty sure to come to pass, And
what a pleasant thought that was!

As soon as the children were dressed, they all
went into the day nursery to breakfast. This was
only allowed in holiday time ; at other seasons, Regie
and Frank and Edith had breakfast in the school-
room, That was a grave, quiet business: nobody



Christmas Holidays. 17



might talk, spill their tea, or make any crumbs ; but
everybody must take what was wanted without loss
of time, and then begin work. Nobody cared about
those breakfasts, but this one was very different.

“ Breakfasts in the nursery are such fun,” said the
children ; for nurse provided bowls of bread and
milk, so that there was little fear of ‘ making slops ;”
she let them talk as much as they pleased, so long as
they did not choke ; while as to being quick, since
there was nothing to be done but play afterwards,
that was of no consequence.

On this particular morning, the children were
merrier than ever. I could not count the number of
times that the word “fun” came into their talk. The
snow was “such fun,” and the fine weather overhead
“such fun,” and so was baby’s perpetual hunt after
the kitten, which he never caught. It was very
odd that baby always thought he should catch the
kitten, since she always sprang away before he was any-
where near her, and he never had a chance with her,
so much quicker was she on her four legs than he on
his two. But whenever he saw her again, he always

trotted after her, as if it were quite a new idea, and

he were sure to have her this time. “ Such fun!” the
B



18 Little Ada’s Fewets.



other children said. Then it was “such fun” that
this was Christmas Eve, and mamma had gone out
yesterday to get their Christmas presents. And they
were to dress the house with holly to-day, and have a
game at blind man’s buff in the hall in “ blind man’s
holiday time,” and papa had promised to play too.
Above all, Aunt Mary was coming this afternoon,
which they all agreed was the best fun of all.

With so many pleasant things to look forward to,
you may imagine what a happy party it was that
nurse gathered round her breakfast table this morning ;
indeed, there were such bursts of laughter every now
and then, that she had to call them to order pretty
frequently. ~

“Now, Master Regie, I won’t have such a noise,
Master Frank, leave baby alone !”

“He wants to brush his hair with his tea-spoon, —
nurse ;” at which everybody giggled again.

“Tl tell you what we'll do to-day,” cried Regie.
“We'll make a bigger snow man than yesterday—
as big as me—and we'll put on him my old hat and
coat, and leave him; and then, when Aunt Mary
comes, she’ll think it’s me sitting there, and won’t she
call out!”



Christmas Holidays. 19



Fresh bursts of laughter greeted this speech, though
there was not much to laugh at—was there? Still,
the best of a joke is always the laughter it causes ;
and judged by that rule, Regie’s were always very
good jokes indeed.

But the jokes hindered the breakfast not a little,
and at last even nurse’s patience came to an end,
though the bread and milk did not. She said, “ Now,
young ladies and gentlemen, if you have not finished
your breakfasts in about five minutes, I shall clear
them all away.”

“Oh, nurse, what a shame!” was the general ex-
clamation. “ Holiday time and all !”

“Holiday time to you is a very poor holiday to
me, I can tell you,” returned nurse, in rather an injured
tone. ‘“ There, now, make haste, or what’s to become
of all my work, I wonder!”

Thus urged, the spoons began to visit the bread
and milk rather more quickly, and a business-like
look came over all their faces, till all the bowls were
empty. For to have lost half their breakfast would
have been by no means “ such fun!”

As soon as the howls were all empty, nurse was
very glad to get rid of the noisy little society, which



20 Little Ada’s Fewels.



was overflowing in its laughter in rather an incon-
venient way. ‘ Now,” said she, “itis fine enough
for you all to run out and play in the front garden,
and I can take baby out there, too, for a little turn
presently. Mind you keep right in front, and do not
get into mischief.”

“ We'll make another snow man,” was the reply of
the party through Regie, who generally acted as
tongue for the troop. So after a great deal of
wrapping and buttoning and fastening, they were at
length all ready fora start. And what a start it was!
“One, two, three, and away!” shouted Regie, and
downstairs they rushed with such a noise. Even
Edith, the eldst sister and the wisest, was carried
away with the stream. The sound was something like
that of the Falls of Niagara, which, as you know, can
be heard at a distance of ten miles or more.

No wonder that nurse called out “ Hush! hush !”
from the top of the stairs ; or that mother rushed out
from the dining-room to ask who was hurt; or that
Rags, their brown dog, began to bark wildly.

“My dear children,” said their mother, “ was there
ever such a noise before !”

Then they were rather ashamed of themselves, and



Christmas Holidays. 21



went down quietly, though in the garden, I must
say, the noise was as bad as ever. However, that did
not much matter, as they were in the open air.

“Oh, how nice! how nice!” cried little Ada, ©
dancing about in the crisp snow, and looking up at
the light blue sky overhead. ‘“ What fun it is!”

It was about the 160th time that that remark had
been made that morning ; but no matter, it expressed
what she meant, and that was enough for her. What
is the good of a new word when an old one does as
well ?

So “what fun,” said Ada, and the others re-
peated the same remark in a shout, as they danced
about, all but Edith, like little white Indians, with-
out war-paint.

“ Now for our new snow man,” cried Regie. “Have
you all got your spades ?”

Yes, every spade was ready, and they looked to
their leader for directions.

“There’s a bit left of our old snow man yesterday,”
said Frank, “Shall we build him up again ?”

“No, no!” said Regie, “he looks all dirty and
gravelly! Look at his yellow face! I’m sure he’s
had ‘yellow jaundice! Let’s have a new one.”



bo

2 Little Ada’s Fewels.



The others were quite agreed, and began to shovel
up the snow as busily as might be. Little Ada,
however, could not help bringing some of the snow
from the old snow man to put on the new one—she
thought it was so hard upon him to be left out
altogether. But though she filled her little spade
with great care, it would twist over before she could —
get it to the new man. Then she picked it up very
carefully, and perhaps dropped it again; so that
what she brought was about as much asa pinch of
salt.

Still, it was a very kind thought of little Ada’s ;
and certainly, if the old snow man had not been a
cold creature, without any feeling at all, he would
have been very grateful to her. The others did not
think of him, but bustled about scraping and digging
up the snow in such a fuss that you would have
thought they were building a town at least.

“ There, it’s famously big already !” said Frank at
last ; for he was soon satisfied, and would have liked
a change to snowballing.

“ Nonsense,” returned King Regie, “it is not
half big enough! Why, it’s only about as big as baby,
and I said it was to be as big as me,”



Christmas Holidays. 23



This was not such a very great size after all, but
the rest of them rather respected it, because it was
bigger than any of them.

So they set to work again, and were so industrious,
that they by-and-by began to grow quite hot and
tired.

“TJ think it will never be as big as Regie,” said
little Ada, “You know, Regie, you are twelve
years old, so it took you twelve years to get as big as
you are. Such a long time!”

Regie laughed, and began putting the finishing
touches to his work, being rather tired of it himself
by this time.

“There, now,” he said, “he’s big enough. Let
us just flatten him down and give him his pipe, and
get him a hat and coat, and he'll look fine.”

But nurse declined to bestow a hat and coat on
the snow man. Regie’s mother, she said, had ordered
his old things to be kept for someone who could
really feel the cold and frost, and they must not be
spoiled. But they might take an old newspaper and
make a cocked hat out of that, if they liked.

“ But, then, it won’t look like me,” said Regie.

“Tike you! I should think not,” cried nurse, in



24 Little Ada’s Sewels.

such an offended tone, that he ran off without
saying anything more—contenting himself with the
newspaper hat. It really looked rather grand over
his pipe, and made their man like a picture of
Captain Cook, they said. Unfortunate resemblance
for the man of snow! No sooner was it discovered,
than Regie and Frank began to pretend they were
savages attacking the captain, who, being rather
unsteady already, soon tumbled over, cocked hat
and all, in the most undignified way.

At this downfall Ada looked rather alarmed, for
she was afraid Regie would want them to build it
up again; but, happily, nurse announced at the
moment that Ada had been out long enough, and
must come innow. The little girl was quite ready
to obey, the bright light upon the snow made her
feel quite giddy, and she had a back-ache from
digging so much, But just as she reached the
door, loud shouts from the others made her look
round,

“'There’s the holly coming!” cried they. “Look
there! Hurrah!”

And Ada saw a man coming up the path, wheeling
such a great heap of holly before him, that he looked



bo
Seu

Christmas Holidays.



like a walking tree. The children rushed round him
in great delight.

“Look what a lot of berries!” was their cry.
“What leaves! Won't we dressthe house up nicely !”
And they danced round the poor man till he was quite
confused.

“ You wait till I get it up to the house,” said he,
in a low tone. “Tl be glad enough to get shut
of it, I know.”

And up to the house they all came in a confused
heap—man, cart, holly, and children, quite a proces-
sion. When they reached the door, they all ran to un-
load the evergreens, little Ada and all.

What large bundles they picked up, to be sure!
and how certain they were to drop half of them!
How they ran about and laughed, and exclaimed and
screamed when the holly pricked their fingers!

“Oh, how it does scratch !” cried Mary.

“Well, miss,” returned the man, rather resent-
fully—for he had brought the holly, and did not like
to hear it found fault with—‘“you’ve no call to
meddle with it ; if you let it alone, it would let you
alone, you know.”

Edith said that was very true, and Mary laughed



26 Little Ada’s Fewels.

(she always laughed) and said she did not mind it.
The man seemed to give it all up as a bad job now,
and leant against his cart, looking unhappy, but very
meek, At last nurse came to the rescue, and also
the housemaid, who was extremely indignant at the
berries being knocked off and trampled about the
hall.

With the help of their more careful hands, the
evergreens were nicely arranged in two large baskets,
ready to dress the house that afternoon. Of course
the children wanted to begin at once ; but this could
not be allowed, as their mother did not want them in
the drawing-room just then. ‘“ Besides, it’s time to
dress for dinner,” said nurse. ‘Come upstairs and
wash your hands, and let me make you tidy ; for any-
thing more like wild Turks than you all look now, I
never did see.”

“What do wild Turks look like?’ asked Ada,
seriously.

“ As like all of you as can be, I daresay,” replied
nurse,

And certainly, if that were the case, wild Turks
must have very flushed faces, and very bright eyes,
and very rough hair, and very, very black little hands.



Christmas Holidays. 27



However, under the influence of brushes and soap
and water, their wild Turkish appearance was soon —
changed to nurse’s satisfaction.

Dinner was the next consideration, and then came
the holly-dressing, which they thought the great
event of the day. Edith and Regie ran down first
to know if mother could have them in the drawing-
room now.

“Yes, they might all come, baby and all,” she
said.

So downstairs they ran, nurse carrying baby ;
and mother had one of the holly baskets brought
upstairs, and, putting on an old pair of gloves, she
began cutting off the little berried twigs to be ready
for use.

“Now, we will make a little wreath for grand-
papa’s picture,” she said. “I will put it together,
and you shall give me the pieces.”

All hands were at once plunged into the basket,
even baby’s; but he looked so sad when he got his
fingers pricked, that mother took him on her lap and
let him hold the string instead. The others handed
up pieces faster than their mother could use them,
and each was in such a hurry to get his or her piece



28 Little Ada’s Fewels.

taken, that mother had to remind them she could only
use one at a time—they must be patient, and hand in
turns. After this she got on much more quickly
with her work, and she had nearly finished it when
she heard a little sob behind the chair. She looked
round, and saw that little Ada had retired there to
cry in private.

“ What is the matter, my darling ?” mother asked.

“Tt’s never my turn,” sobbed little Ada. “I’ve
held this piece all the time, and it’s never my turn
to give it.”

“ Poor little Ada! don’t cry, and give it to me
now—there’s a good little girl. See, Regie, if every-
body has one turn, that makes it all right; but
somebody takes two turns, somebody else gets none,
and that makes it all wrong.”

“ T see, mother,” said Regie ; and Edith took little
Ada by her and saw that her pieces went into the
wreath with the rest, so that she was soon quite
happy again.

When the wreath was finished, mother put it up
over the picture, where it looked very grand indeed ;
and then they finished dressing the drawing-room,
and after that the dining-room.





Christmas Holidays. 29

They were so busy, that the short afternoon was
drawing to a close, and it was beginning to get dark,
before they-had finished their work, and taken the
last sprays up to nurse.

“Ts it almost blind man’s holiday ?” asked little
Ada.

“Quite, I think,” said her mother, laughing.
“That will do, for we cannot see to do any more,
I think from now till we light the lamps the holiday
may be said to last. Let us go down into the hall
and watch for papa and Aunt Mary.”

Ada went there, thinking what short holidays the
poor blind man had. She was glad theirs lasted
longer.

The hall was a large, pleasant place, with curtains
over the doors, and a great fire upon the hearth.
There they waited. some time, now dancing about
the hall, now standing still to listen, till their patience
was almost exhausted. No wonder at that, since
they had not a great deal; and Aunt Mary’s
train was as late as trains generally are on Christ-
mas Eve.

At last came a great outcry, “The carriage is
coming, mother! We can hear it !”



30 ' Little Ada’s Fewels.



“ Hush ! how is it possible to hear anything if you
make such a noise ?”

But the carriage really was there, and in a moment
it was stopping ; the door opened, and first came in
a rush of cold air, then a tall fair lady, dressed in
black, who was Aunt Mary; then a gentleman, tall
too, but with dark hair and eyes, who was the
children’s father.

Mother and aunt embraced, and then everybody
else, in quite a confusion of kisses; the servants
brought in luggage; and Rags, who always joined in
when he heard a noise, barked frantically.

“My dear Mary, this disturbance will quite be-
wilder you,” said the mother; while the father wag
quieting the children, and turning out the dog. The
servants, too, carried off the boxes, so that in a few
moments peace was restored, and the party gathered
round the fire and looked at each other.

Aunt Mary had a sweet face, as bright and calm
as the moonlight, and almost as pale. She smiled at
the mention of the noise.

“ Annie, dear,” she said, “a noise refreshes me, I
come from such a silent home.”

For Aunt Mary’s home had once been full of



Christmas Holidays. 31



voices too—a husband’s voice and children’s voices
had been like music there. And now all but one
were to be heard né more in this world, and that one
was far away; yet Aunt Mary could smile in her
silent house, hoping for the time when she should
hear all those dear voices again in the land where the
angels sing.

“ You are tired, though, after your journey,” said
the mother. ‘Come upstairs with me, and let me
give you some tea by your own fire. These up-
roarious people are waiting for a romp with their
father.”

The “uproarious people” laughed and looked at
him.

“Oh, I haven’t forgotten my promise!” he said.
“ Let’s have a good game at blind man’s buff—who
will be blinded first ?”

“ You be blinded first, father,” was the cry ; and
Regie got upon a chair to blindfold his father,
so that he ‘should see nothing but dark,” as Ada
said.

At first he would seea great deal more, though, in
spite of Regie’s efforts ; but at length he owned that
he was “quite in the dark about everything.” So



2 Little Ada’s Fewels.

oo



then, he was taken into the middle of the hall to turn
round three times, and catch whom he might.

He turned round, while all the little ones ran off
into the corners of the hall; but they did not long
remain there, for he dashed across after them with
arms outstretched, and they fled shrieking. Never
was there such a blind man for quickness ; he seemed
to be here, there, and everywhere at once. No
sooner did you see him safe in one part of the room,
than there he came swooping down right upon you
in another. However, the children were quick enough
too ; they popped down under his arms and scrambled
off, scores of times ; till at last little Ada was picked
up as she was running behind a chair, and lifted up
very high in the air to be kissed.

“Now, little one, will you be blind man?”

Ada looked doubtful. “If I may be blind man
without the handkerchief,” she said.

“Nonsense, Ada,” said Mary, “how can you be
blind man if you're not blinded!”

“Regie, do it for me,” said Ada, who was Regie’s
particular pet.

So Regie was blinded, and a capital blind man he
made ; indeed, they had “such fun,” that nothing -



Christmas [Toliduys. 35





could be more unwelcome than the appearance of
nurse, when she came to say tea was ready.

Perhaps their father was not quite as sorry as they
were, for he was a doctor, and had been busy visiting
sick people all day, until it was time to meet Aunt
Mary, and may have wished now for a little rest.

At any rate, he at once proposed that Ada should
ride on his back upstairs, and that the others should
run after them and try tocatch them. In this fashion
up they all rushed with the noise of Niagara again,
if only a waterfall could go up instead of coming
down. Only, then, it would not be a waterfall,
would it?







CHAP. ITIl.—THE SLEDGE.

pom and Mary and little Ada all slept in a
nice large room next door to the nursery. The
room contained their favourite pictures, and many
other treasures.

To-night they did not forget to hang up their
stockings at the foot of their beds, in hopes of finding
fresh treasures there in the morning. I say “ their
stockings,” for Edith and Mary really did hang up
their own; but last year Ada had worn socks, and
this year her stockings were much too small to hold
any presents worth mentioning, so her mother had
given her a handsome silk one instead.

This was now hanging at the foot of Ada’s bed,
looking very limp and tired, and not at all inclined
to sit up all night waiting for presents. Little Ada
smiled at it as she lay down in bed, thinking how



The Sledge. 35



different iy would look in the morning. However,
she did not think of anything very long, but soon
smiled herself off to sleep.

She never heard Edith and Mary come to bed ; but
after she had been asleep a very, very long time,
as it appeared to her, she heard someone say, ‘ ‘They
must be filled now! Let us get up and see!”

Ada’s little sleep-sealed eyes unclosed very slowly.
“What are filled ?’ she asked, drowsily.

“Why, the stockings, to be sure,” answered Mary,
in the most wide-awake tone. “I shall get up and
look.”

“Better not,” murmured Edith, half asleep.

Ada quite opened her eyes now and sat up in bed.
How strange the room looked, to be sure ; Ada had
never seen it look go before, she thought. There

. was a great white streak of moonlight coming between
the curtains and making such a strange shining on
the looking-glass, while all the rest of the room
looked dark and big. Then the little white figure,
creeping out of bed and stepping into the white path
of light, did not look like Mary, but like some pale
creature with white hair.

It seemed dreadful to Ada, and she began to ery,



36 Little Ada’s Fewiels.

but very softly, for she was too much frightened to
ery loudly. However, Edith heard her, and jumping
up, came to her across the moonlight, with such a
black shadow behind her that Ada almost trembled
at the sight. But her sister’s arms put round her
soon comforted her, and when Edith wanted to know
what she was crying for, Ada could not exactly say,
only she was frightened.

“Why, there’s nothing to be afraid of,” said
Edith.

“No,” Ada began, rather doubtfully, “only the
room looks so strange and big, and the light is so
white on the floor. I never saw it there before.”

“ Because you are always asleep, you know. You
never saw it before at this time.”

“ But I didn’t know it looked so horrid,” said Ada,
clinging to her.

“ What does it matter what nights look like?” said
Edith. ‘They are meant for people to sleep in—
like beds. Shut your eyes again and go to sleep ;
then you will not mind, you know.”

Then Mary was heard to laugh, and declare that
the stockings were full of the “ oddest-feeling” things.

But just then the clock struck five, and Edith



The Sledge. 37



exclaimed that Mary really must get into bed again
and leave the stockings till daylight, and that Ada
must go to sleep.

“Yes, I will,” said Ada; “TI don’t like this five
o'clock half as well as our own five o’clock—then it’s
always tea-time, but this is nothing-time.”

With which remarks all settled themselves in bed
again, and Ada saw no more until daylight had
come and made the room look like itself again.

“And now for the stockings,” cried Mary; and
jumping out of bed, she gave Edith and Ada theirs,
and then jumped in again with her own.

It would take too long to tell you all the presents
they found; enough to say that each had twelve
presents, and the most charming things. They made
the beds look just like shops, Ada thought—a “shop”
being her idea of the most splendid and richest place
in the world.

But the best present came to them after they were
all up and dressed ; this was a beautiful little sledge,
in which they could push each other about over the
snow. They wanted to go out with it at once, but
that was not allowed till the afternoon, when they
had what they called “the greatest fun” with it



38 Little Ada’s Fewels.



Regie and Frank giving each of the sisters rides in
turns.

Still better was it when their father came out, and
said now he was going to drive the sledge a little.
Regie had gone fast, but father seemed to fly along
like the wind, while the bushes streamed past as if
they were flying too. The garden rang again with
peals of laughter.

And now the light was getting rather low—“ at the
edge of the sky,” Ada said, “as if it was going to fall
off altogether.” ‘The wind blew coldly and the grey
clouds were gathering. It was a time to think the
fireside more cheerful than the garden, and even
Regie was content to go in.

“Tam sorry our ride’s over,” remarked Ada.
“ But we have three more treats to-day—tea with
mother and father, and the snap-dragon, and father’s
story.”

“You see,” said her father to Aunt Mary, “you
have always the same arrangements to expect here,
As Ada tells you, we do not vary our amusements ;
we still wind up with the story by the Christmas fire
-—around which we sit, looking cosy.”

“ You know how nice itis, Aunt Mary,” said Edith,





The Sledge. 39



“ Nice or not,” continued her father, “TI feel that
it is the right thing to do to-night—-sit and tell tales ;
and however stupid, sleepy, and tiresome my story
might be, and however much my fire should scorch
my face, I should still feel it my duty to tell my tale
and sit by the blaze.”

“Tam glad to hear it,” said Aunt Mary, “and
look forward to both as two more treats, according
to Ada.”

The children were sent upstairs to take their
things off and play a little in the nursery before it
was time to be made tidy for tea. But they did not
much care for their game, it was rather stupid work
after the sledge in the garden with their father for
their play-fellow. Indeed they were all in danger of
getting cross—and what a sad thing that would have
been on Christmas-day !—when, happily, nurse dis-
covered that it was time to dress them all and send
them downstairs. What a difference that made!
Before their dressing, such rough hair and rather
dull faces, and grimy hands and tired voices ; but
afterwards, shining curls and eyes, and smiles—such
merry voices, sounding as if they could never be tired
or cross again.





40 Little Ada’s Fewels.



In such trim they went downstairs and took their
places at the long tea-table, which was covered with
good things. Little Ada sat by mother, being the
youngest there ; for, of course, baby had gone to bed.
She looked down the table, shining with plate and
silver, with the bright, beautiful urn singing opposite
her mother, and, more than all, ornamented with the
happy faces round it.

How beautiful it all was, she thought ; as bright
as the jewels about which she had so many fancies.
How happy they all were, to be sure!

Their father made them laugh at tea-time with his
funny sayings, till their mother had to beg that no
more jokes might be made till after tea. Then he
made such a funny grave face that it was worse then
his jokes—that is to say, better, for it made them
laugh the more.

At last the tea was over, and then their father
went into the study to light up the snap-dragon,
which was not to be seen till it was in a blaze.

“ When it is ready I shall ring the dinner-bell,” he
said; “the snap-dragon bell it shall be for the
present.”

He went, and the children sat in suppressed excite



The Sledge. 41



ment waiting for the summons; five minutes passed
—seeming a long, long time. Then suddenly out
rang the bell, so loudly that it made them all
jump.

“ Now’s the time,” shouted Regie, running into
the hall, the others folowing him; but little Ada
was not so sure of the pleasures of snap-dragon, she
caught hold of her mother’s hand and held it very
tight.

But she held it still more tightly when she came
into the study ; for it looked a terrible place at first
sight, she thought. There was no light there except
what came from the snap-dragon, and that was an
uncomfortable light ; pale flames jumping and darting
up and down, and making everything look odd and
unnatural. Could that great figure with the blue
light upon its face be really only dear father? And
those shadowy creatures dancing round, so pale, with
streaming hair, could they really be only her own
brothers and sisters? Poor little Ada was almost
crying, while everybody else laughed.

“-Where’s my little Ada?” said her father’s voice,
presently.

“Here she is, dear father,” said the mother. “ But



42 Little Ada’s Fewels.



Iam not sure that she does not think snap-dragon
rather too serious for a jest.”

The father took her up in his arms—‘“ Why, you're
not frightened, little one ?” said he. “ Look at Regie
pulling the plums out.”

“Oh, don’t let him, he’ll be burned !” she cried.

“ Not I,” returned Regie, his voice rather impeded
by the raisins in his mouth. “Look here, Ada ; here
are some for you.”

Ada was not quite happy enough to care about
the plums, and her thanks were spoken in a very
faltering voice.

“You see, little one,” said her father, “it is not a
real fire to hurt you, only to frighten you ; and when
a thing is meant only to frighten you, never be
frightened at it. Why, if the birds knew that the
scarecrow was only a scarecrow, they wouldn’t be
scared, you know.”

“ And what would they do?”

“Come and perch on it and not be frightened at
all, and the gardener would cry and say—‘ Oh, what
bad birds! they won’t be frightened when I frighten
them.’ There’d be a thing ”

Ada clasped her hands round her father’s neck—





The Sledge. 43

“T should like to see them,” she whispered. ‘ What
naughty little birds they’d be—wouldn’t they ?”

“ Hurrah !” cried Regie, “I got such a handful
then.”

“So did I,” Mary putin. “It’s going out, you
know.”

And so it was ; a few more blue flames flitted over
it, and then it went out. The room was dark.

“ And now for the fire and the story,” said Ada’s
father, as he carried her off.







CHAP. IV.—FATHER’S TALE,

ON CE upon a time there was a little boy who,
AO} being left an orphan when he was only a little
baby, was brought up by his grandmother and his
aunt. That is to say, his grandmother, who was
a very commanding lady, brought him up ; and his
aunt, who was a lady quite unable to command any-
thing, looked on and admired.

They lived in the manor-house of Wayland, and
this manor-house and the park round it and most
of the village beyond were to be the property of this
little boy (whose name was Reginald Wayland) when
he grew up.

“T bring him up with the greatest care,” his
grandmother used to say of him. ‘TI consider it a
duty not to my family only, of which he is the
head, but also to the county. Ido not forget that



father’s Tale. 45
the head of the Wayland family has usually been
one of the leading men of the shire.”

Grandmother Wayland thought a great deal of the
Waylands, and of Reginald, and of herself. She
felt like a queen-dowager at Wayland, and she
looked it, as she went sweeping about in her long
silk skirts, with her white cap making a sort of veil
behind her. She was a stately lady.

Her daughter was far from stately; she was a
little, low-spirited, chilly lady, and looked like a
poor weak echo come alive. Her mother told her
she was not. a bit like a Wayland, and snubbed her
very much.

Indeed, Mrs. Wayland was rather given to
snubbing everybody but Reginald. That young
prince was perfection in her eyes as he was in his
aunt’s, and, if the truth must be told, in his own too.
Never was there such a wonderful boy, said the
household ; and as Reginald never went anywhere
but to the clergyman of Wayland village, who was
his tutor, and never saw any other boys, there is no
wonder if he déd in time persuade himself that he
was unique in this planet. Perhaps the person who
esteemed him least was his tutor, a learned old



46 Little Ada’s Fewiels.



gentleman, who often shuddered at Reginald’s verses,
and rebuked him for idle curiosity and gossip.

“There never was a boy so full of curiosity,” said
the clergyman.

“ He has a most enquiring mind,” said the grand-
mother, “It is in the family.”

“But he is always prying into what does not
concern him.”

“ Everything concerns an enquiring mind,” said the
grandmother, loftily. ‘There never was such a boy
for getting to the bottom of things.”

Which was true, for he had tumbled into the
pond, and into his grandmother’s deep drawer, and
into the pig’s tub, in his ceaseless endeavour to see
what was there.

“‘T only wanted to know, you know,” was his one
apology when they fished him out again.

Reginald’s grandmother was not his only guardian;
he had another whom he had never seen, a Colonel
Wayland, who was with his regiment in India.
When the heir of Wayland was rather more than
sixteen years old, and a “ perfect little gentleman,”
his friends said, this Colonel returned to England.
He had only a short leave at home, though, and he



father’s Tale. 47



therefore begged that Reginald might meet him on a
certain day at Wantsbridge, a town some fifty miles
from Wayland, whence he could go with his guardian
to the sea-side. For the doctors had ordered the
Colonel to spend his leave at the coast.

Great were his grandmother’s fears, and many were
the tears of his aunt ; but Reginald was charmed at
the idea of going anywhere alone ; he persuaded them
that he should want no servants with him, and
obtained their consent to the adventure.

Behold him, then, saying good-bye to them on the
platform, taking with him their fondest hopes and
wishes, besides the most striking of railway rugs, the
neatest of light leather portmanteaus, and a pocket
full of money. His grandmother also entrusted him
with a letter for the Colonel.

« And remember, my dearest boy, that you change
at Norton,” said she, solemnly.

“ All right, grandmamma,” said he, assured that it
was the easiest thing in the world. And so it was ;
but he was so unused to railway arrangements, that
he missed first his rug, then his portmanteau, and
then his train at Norton. After which he had to
wait there—at the tiniest of stations—in a waiting-



48 Little Ada’s Fewels.
room about four feet square, looking at a newspaper
a fortnight old. In consequence of all which pro-
ceedings the Colonel met the wrong train at Wants-
bridge, and missed him altogether.

“* However,” thought Reginald, after looking for a
gentleman of military appearance in vain, “ I daresay
he will turn up by-and-by; and meanwhile, I can go
freely to the hotel and order my dinner.”

This he did with a grand air, and then, leaving his
goods there, went out to inspect the town. It was
in the fleeting bustle of its market-day, and Reginald, —
accustomed to little Wayland, was quite bewildered.
Indeed, he got into the middle of a herd of oxen,
and stepped into a mosaic of crockery-ware on the
ground, before he found himself out of the market-
place and in the High Street. There, there were
some nice, bright shops, which soon attracted him—
for his admiration for shop-fronts was only equalled
by his admiration for his own shirt-fronts—and he was
presently standing quite fascinated before a jeweller’s
window.

If Reginald had a taste for anything, it was for
gems ; he had inherited some valuable family jewels,
and his grandmother had some more ; at any rate, he



Father’s Tale. 49

flattered himself he knew a good stone when he saw
one. Those were fine amethysts in the window,
surely; and what an emerald ina pin! The sense of
having money in his pocket came over him very
forcibly ; he must go in and enquire the price of those
things.

A good-natured looking farmer was looking in
too. Reginald was in the habit of addressing people
out of doors quite afiably, like George the Third ; so
he remarked to the farmer, “ These are nice stones.”

“ Ay, that they be, mon,” he answered in broad
Yorkshire; ‘‘and there they stays. There’s a queer
old chap as keeps ’un—he’d sooner look at ’un than
sell ’un, by what folks tell me.”

“ Not a very good tradesman, I imagine.”

“Oh, he is as he is, and so is the pigs,” said the
man, shortly, and he moved on; while Reginald
murmured, ‘ Honest fellow, no doubt; but no
manners,” and went into the shop, while a lady who
had stopped and heard him speak to the farmer
followed him in. It was a small, rather dark place ;
and a little, sharp-faced old man, uncommonly like
a grey rat, was standing, or rather faegting about
behind the sounter. 4

D



50 Little Ada’s Fewiets.

No one else was there, and Reginald rather drew
back to let the lady speak first ; but she said nothing,
and the rat-like man, darting his head at Reginald
as if he were going to bite, asked what he could have
the pleasure of showing him. The young man (he
would never have forgiven the name of ‘ boy,” and
with his tailor’s help looked twenty at the least)
asked to see the emerald pin which he had ob-
served in the window. The jeweller gave a doubt-
ful look at Reginald, and his eyes fell upon a hand-
some diamond pin which the young dandy was
wearing. The old man’s eyes sparkled at the sight,
and he poked forward his head again as if to smell
the stone.

However, as the customer merely repeated his
request, the man produced the pin reluctantly.

“ There’s a stone!” said the jeweller. “Ah! you
can’t match it. I tried hard for another, meaning to
make a pair of earrings of them ; but it was no good,
no good ; you could not expect to see two of them.”

Reginald asked the price, and seemed rather
startled when he heard it. “Twenty pounds!” he
repeated.

“Tt’s a long price,” said the seller, candidly ; and



father’s Tale. 51
he looked hopefully at the buyer, but the hope was
that the buyer would not buy. For this eccentric
shopman had a mania for stone-collecting, and did
not want to live out of his shop. He was a man of
means, as his neighbours said. But he was dis-
appointed ; Reginald drew forth his pocket-book,
and put down his bank-notes. Very, very slowly
the jeweller counted them; once more he looked at
his dear emerald before he closed the case and tied
up the parcel. All this while Reginald’s eyes were
roaming round the shop, where a strange system of
wires and springs along the walls excited his curiosity.

“What are those things for?” he asked.

The man showed all his teeth with a grin.
“When my door is closed for the night, those wires
are fastened to it in this way,” said he, speeding
round his shop, as if he were scrambling about a
cage. ‘In this way, sir—see! Then these springs
are in communication with the door, see—my own
contrivance—and pull the trigger of a gun concealed
here—see! so that if a thief attempted to open my
door during the night, he would be shot, or at any
rate the alarm given—see! Not bad, sir?” and he
laughed excitedly, while the hands showing his con-



52 Little Ada’s Fewels.



trivance quite trembled with eagerness. “Ah! they
robbed me once, years ago, and I resolved it should
not happen again. See! the same contrivance extends
to my shutters, likewise to my inner door. So you
see I’m safe; and what is of more consequence, so are
the stones.”

“But,” Reginald went on with his “enquiring
mind,” “suppose the thieves tried to get in without
opening the door or the shutters?”

The little man did not seem to like this way of
putting the question; he shot an angry gleam of
suspicion out of his restless eyes, and seemed to
regret his communicativeness.

“Sir,” he said, crossly, “a thief, being a person
of an ill-regulated mind, would probably try and get
into a house without opening the door. All I need
say is, that if he does, I am still ready for him.”

Reginald, after half-a-dozen more questions, which
did not gain much information, suddenly remembered
the lady who had been there so long, and who only
wanted a new glass to her watch. Meanwhile, our
young friend hastened to his hotel, and tried the
effect of his new purchase on half-a-dozen neck-ties
of various colours. He was still gazing in the glass,



father’s Tale. 53



when the waiter came to say his dinner was ready.
But he was above being disconcerted by a waiter,
and finished his study of himself before he went off
to his meal.

He made it a long dinner; but there was still a
long evening after it, and the summer night seemed
pleasanter out of doors than in. So he went out into
the moonlight, and wandered about a long time, till
all the town was asleep; then he went in, and to sleep,
too. Fresh and dewy and sparkling the morning woke
him at last, and he rose, wondering what steps he
should take to find his guardian, and whether he
had better wait where he was for letters. Still
pondering this, and wishing in between that shaving
formed part of his toilette, he dressed himself and
went down to breakfast.

He found the coffee-room almost empty; but a
group of servants were standing just outside the door,
talking eagerly, and of course Reginald stopped to
ask what they were talking about.

“There was a robbery in the town last night, sir,”
said the head waiter.

“A robbery!”

“ Robbery, sir; yes, sir,” returned the man, as if



54 Little Ada’s Fewels.



he were taking an order for one. Then stepping
nearer to Reginald, he said, confidentially, ‘ Often
been said in the town, sir, that it would occur before
this. Eccentric old gentleman, sir, known to be rich.
Pve heard it said these five years that he would be
made away with for the sake of his hoards,”

“ Made away with! Is anybody murdered, then?”

“ Murdered, sir! no, sir!” and the waiter answered
less briskly, as though something had been ordered
which was not in the house.

“ But robbed, sir! Mr. King, the jeweller, in the
High Street, it is, sir!”

“King, the jeweller! Why, I was at his shop
yesterday!” Great sensation followed, and he was
flattered into adding, “I bought this pin there!” A
rush of chambermaids and others to look at it was
not so pleasant, and he escaped to his breakfast.

He was still playing with the remains of his coffee
and newspaper, when he became aware that he was
again honoured by the attention of the excited
domestics. Whispering was heard outside the door ;
then a head with a smart cap on appeared, and the
eyes beneath the cap took a good stare at him; then
another head, capless and masculine, took its place, °



Father's Tale. 55
and another stare followed. Various heads now
appeared in rapid succession; even rough and ragged
ones, fresh from the stables, took their turn amongst
the rest.

“Well, never!” ‘Who'd have thought it!” and
the like exclamations of surprise were heard at
intervals.

What did it mean? Had they discovered that he
was the heir of all the Waylands? or did his elegant
and striking appearance make them take him for a
prince slightly disguised? Anyhow it was rather
embarrassing, and he endeavoured to look lost in
thought—-a most difficult operation. He felt he was
blushing visibly, and plunged again into his news-
paper, reading the Court Circular over and over again.
“The Queen drove out this morning. Prince Leopold
visited the International Exhibition.”

Then came a louder whisper. “Why! he’s such
a young-looking chap !”

Was it possible? Could Reginald Wayland be
expressed thus vulgarly in four letters? He almost
started, yet managed to keep his eyes on the print—
“The Princess Beatrice—”’ and with a sudden jerk
Her Royal Highness fell from his hand, and he



56 Little Ada’s Fewels.



perceived before him the little jeweller, panting,
trembling, grinning with rage. The gentlemen at
the other tables stared, and the chorus at the door
pushed each other in, giggling, shuffling, pushing
back, and pulling on, all at once.

“ Sir,” began the old man, in a voice that quivered
like his white lips; “the emeralds I bought at Lady
Westerton’s sale, that I had looked out for for years,
and my ’51 diamonds, are gone. I shall go mad if J
can’t recover them.”

Reginald thought he had come to ask his advice.

“ Any assistance I can offer,” he began, blandly.
' Mr. King shook with passion, and interrupted
him hoarsely. ‘Only give them up. I’ve sent for
a warrant ; but let me see them safe, and I’ll let you
off. I only want my stones.”

Reginald sprang to his feet, with an exclamation
of wrath and astonishment, which immediately
brought the chambermaids rushing round him, and
screaming that he was going to murder the poor old
man now, while the breakfasting gentlemen came
forward hastily.

“Tnsolence! madness! preposterous!” stammered
the enraged young Wayland.



Father's Tale. 57



“Tt’s all very well,” said the jeweller, with a
desperate calmness. “It is very easy to talk about
insolence ; but those stones were no trifles to me,
nor to any man that knows what stones are. I met
those stones at a theatre in London, and I followed
them up for years. I found out that they wern’t a
family’s, but an old lady’s, who would leave them to
come into the market when she died. But they
came before, as it happened; for she got into debt
five years after I first met them, and she sold them,
and I bought them—went up to London myself, and
outbid some big West-end firms to get them, I did.
It happened at a time when trade was depressed in
London, and ready money was the word, so I got
them. And the papers noticed it, they did!” He
was terribly excited as he said this, and stopped
suddenly with, “And now they’ve gone.”

“Very likely,” retorted Reginald. “ But what do
you suppose I have to do with it?”

The man quite gnashed his teeth. “That you
were spying about my shop last night—you’ve that
to do with it; that you were asking me all sorts of
questions—you’ve that to do with it; that I saw you
later, with my own eyes, prowling outside my shop—



58 Little Ada’s Fewels.

you've that to do with it! Oh! you come along
with me to a magistrate, and he shall find out what
you have to do with it.”

“Take my card; I am Mr. Reginald Wayland,”
he returned, loftily, looking round to see what
impression was produced; but there seemed to be
none at all.

“Your card!” shrieked Mr. King—“Tll take
you;” and at the moment a stout policeman added
himself to the general confusion.

“Now, Mr. King,” said this official, officially ;
“is this the gentleman you charge with being privy
to the robbery at your place last night ?”

“Yes, that’s the man.”

“Then the sooner we get into a fly, and be off to
Mr. Stuart’s, the sooner there’ll be an end of the
business,” said the policeman.

So Reginald found himself actually in charge ; his
indignation, his expostulations, treated with the
greatest indifference; all the servants of the inn
escorting him to the door, outside of which a little
crowd was waiting to “see the thief.”

They gave an ironical cheer as Reginald, the
policeman, and Mr. King drove off.



Father’s Tale. 59



It seemed a very long drive, though it lasted only
half-an-hour, before they arrived at the magistrate’s
house—a pretty, comfortable old place, half-hidden
by trees.

A respectable butler admitted them, with a glance
at the prisoner, from which Reginald shrank.

“Mr. Stuart is at breakfast just now, with a
friend,” he said; “but if you wait in the study, I
will let him know.”

“Come up about a warrant—preliminary exami-
nation,” said the policeman, as they were shown
into the study.

“ And have the goodness to give your master that,”
said Reginald, giving his card; which the man
received with a smile, and shut them into the study
and left them.

Mr. Stuart, a pleasant, rosy-faced old gentleman,
was breakfasting with his friend—a tall, thin man,
with very thoughtful eyes. The magistrate received
the announcement of his business visitors with an
easy shrug; but upon glancing at the card, he gave
a tremendous start, and throwing it across to his
friend, said—

“ What does that mean ?”



60 Little Ada’s Fewels.



His friend read—“ Mr. Reainanp WaYLAND.”

“Ts this the prisoner?” he calmly asked.

“The prisoner, sir,” said the butler.

“Then I certainly do not understand it,” said the
friend.

“But it is the most extraordinary thing—the
strangest thing!” cried the magistrate, getting up
and fussing about the room. “My boots, Johnson
—I must have my boots—and my other coat. I
must see to this at once. Such an astonishing thing.”

“ Nothing astonishing in such a boy, so brought
up, getting into any kind of scrape, when you just
let him run alone,” answered the other, quietly.

“Tl see about it, Pll see about it,” fussed the
magistrate, getting into his boots and coat rather
violently.

“ And send for me as witness to character,” said
the other. ‘Ring when you want me.”

The magistrate nodded, and entered the study,
where the three rose to greet him. ‘ What is this?”
he said, bowing, and seating himself. “This must
be some mistake.”

“No, sir,” cried Mr. King, and told his sorrowful
tale.



father’s Tale. 61



“T am very sorry for your loss, Mr. King,”
returned the magistrate; “but I think I can show
you that the present charge is a great mistake.”
He rang the bell, and a moment after, the butler
opened the door and announced—

“ CoLONEL WAYLAND.”

Reginald gave a tremendous start, and then looked
down abashed, as the thoughtful eyes met his.

“Can you identify this young gentleman?” asked
the magistrate, magisterially ; and Colonel Wayland
laid claim to his ward, and demonstrated that he was
heir to a large property, and in no way tempted to
be a thief.

Half-wild with excitement, fury, disappointment,
Mr. King heard the magistrate dismiss the charge ;
and the policeman went off to hunt for the lady who
had heard the conversation. This was a suggestion
. of the Colonel’s, on hearing the story; and it led
finally to the discovery of the thief, and the recovery
of the jewels. This by the way. Left alone with
his guardian and the magistrate, Reginald felt ready
to sink into the ground. He had never felt small
before, and did not like the sensation.

But he felt smaller when the Colonel cruelly read



62 Little Ada’s Fewels.
some of his grandmother’s letters aloud, wherein she
spoke of “his manly prudence and enquiring mind.”
“It may be a partial judgment,” said Mz. Stuart,
kindly ; ‘but I hope he will justify it some day.”
And Reginald did. A few weeks of the Colonel’s
criticism and friendly satire did him good, his
misadventure still more; and when he was sent to
college two years later, there was scarcely a trace of
the conceit and curiosity which had brought him into
trouble with Mr. King.







CHAP. V.—SUNSHINE AND SHOWERS,

f HE Christmas holidays had passed away, and so
; had the snow; the sledge was put away till
frosty weather should come again ; and the childrex
had something else besides “such fun” to think of
all day.

I am afraid they did not like it quite so well, but
no doubt it was much better. Snow and fun do not
last very long generally, and we should get very tired
of them at length if they did.

One dark, grey morning, in the beginning of
February, little Ada was standing by the nursery
window, looking out—again. The prospect outside
was dismal enough ; for a white sort of mist hid half
the garden, and a slow, sad rain was falling, and
everything looked dripping and drooping, and far
from comfortable.



64 Little Ada’s Fewels.



But little Ada herself looked more dismal than
the day ; the drops rolling down the window-panes
were copied by other drops upon her cheeks. Poor
little Ada! She was a good girl, and did not ery if
she could help it, you know; but sometimes we
none of us can help it. And this was one of those
times.

The fact was, that Regie was going to school, for
the first time, that morning; and many little sisters
know what sad goings those are! Not that Regie
seemed to think it sad himself, but the contrary.
At this moment he was breakfasting in state at the
dining-room table with his father, while his mother,
Edith, Frank, and Mary were looking on. Regie
was eating and talking away as fast as he could, and
loudly pitying Frank for not being old enough to go
to school too.

Frank looked rather unhappy at losing his brother ;
but made answer in his own slow way—‘If I
wait long enough, I shall grow as old as you in time.”

“ And then when you come,” pursued Regie, “I
shall know all about the place, and the fellows; and
I shall show you about, and tell my friends to be
civil to you, because you're my brother.”



Sunshine and Showers. 65



“Very kind,” put in his father, laughing; “but
perhaps you'll have learned not to be so condescending
by then. Now, it’s getting late; are you almost
ready? We shall have to be off.”

“ Already ?” said the mother, rather faintly.

The father laughed again, but not a very merry
laugh. “Why! I believe you would like to keep
him altogether, my dear,” he said.

“No! it would not be good for him; but this
first parting is sad;” and her eyes filled with
tears,

Regie rushed upstairs, banged into the nursery,
kissed baby, Ada, and nurse; declared that Ada
made him so wet, he wanted an umbrella ; and even
while Ada was eagerly wiping her eyes to give him
a dry kiss, he had rushed downstairs again.

The carriage was at the door; his mother, sisters,
and Frank were in the hall; there was a great deal
of kissing; and then Regie felt his mother’s arm
round him, and she was whispering in his ear that he
was to try and be a good boy, and write to her often,
and remember what she had told him last night.
“ Yes, I will, mother,” was all he could say, for the

tears he dreaded so much were coming ; he ran off,
E



66 Little Ada’s Fewels.



jumped into the carriage, and his father after him.
They drove away. Mother left the hall ; the brother.
and sisters looked in each other’s faces, and felt very
dull, Then their governess was seen, wrapped in
her waterproof, hastening up the garden-path ; and
they slowly made their way to the schoolroom.

I am afraid Frank was rather sulky over his
lessons that morning ; he did not like being left to
his. studies “with girls,” when Regie had gone to
school, The others were too low-spirited to be
naughty ; but they did not get on very well, and
when their governess remarked upon it, Mary said
she “wished it was to-morrow, for to-day was
wretched.”

Mother looked sad, too, at their dinner; and,
indeed, nothing cheered up much, indoors or out,
till the evening came on, and the shutters hid the
grey wet out of doors, and the fire and lamp burned
brightly within. Things began to look a little more
cheerful then ; but best of all for their spirits was
the sound of the carriage-wheels returning.

They ran into the hall to greet their father, who
came in looking brighter than sunshine, carrying
various parcels in his hand.



~

Sunshine and Showers. 67



“ And how are you all?” said he, kissing their
mother, and taking up baby in his arms. “ You
were all worse than the weather this morning; I
hope you've cleared up by now, or I shall certainly
take cold myself.”

“We are better now, I hope,” smiled the mother.
“ But how did you leave Regie ?”

“As happy as a king. His cousin Mark took
possession of him, and introduced him to two or
three boys he had met at grandpapa’s last year.
They were all very busy in a great covered place,
where they have swings and all sorts of things to
practise athletics upon. Regie was delighted, and
so busy swinging on a bar head-over-heels that he
could hardly afford me a good-bye.”

“T hope he won’t hurt himself,” said the mother.

“Not he. Then I drove round by grandpapa’s as
I came back, and he promised to go over and sce
him soon. It is only five miles from his house to
the school, you know. Think of that, Ada! When
you go to stay at grandpapa’s in the summer, as we
hope you will, you can see Regie’s school.”

“ But it will be his holidays then, father dear.”

“ Ah, but the school will stand there even when



68 Little Ada’s Fewels.



Regie is not in it! Very good of the school, don’t
you think ?”

Ada laughed, wondering in her own mind what
these “athletics” could mean. Father had said
Regie was tumbling head-over-heels, and could that
be “athletics?” What a funny word for tumbling
head-over-heels, to be sure.

“ And then,” the father went on, “1 came back
through London, which was all mud and mist, and
as sad a sight as my family this morning. I am not
often in London, I thought ; and as it looks so dis-
agreeable, I am not sorry for that. But what's the
good of going home, if that looks as bad as London?
So I went to some shops and bought a little sunshine.”

“Sunshine! Why, father,” cried Mary, “ where
could you get it?”

“Tn London, I tell you ;” and he took up some
of his parcels, which he opened, and the children
shouted with delight at the contents.

There was a grand man-of-war for Frank, and the
funniest tumbler for baby, and some beautiful
picture-books for Mary and Edith. Little Ada’s
present came out last, and it was the best, too—the
most lovely wax doll you ever saw, with curls like



Sunshine and Showers. 69



baby’s, and eyes that would open and shut, and a
beautiful dress of purple silk—handsome enough for
a queen.

“Oh, father dear!” cried Ada, when the lovely
creature was put into her arms; “is she really for
my very own ?”

“ Your very own, my pet. Look how pleased she
looks! I think she has a remarkably sweet smile,
and you've no idea how placid she looks when she
goes to sleep.”

“‘ Make her go to sleep, please, father.”

This was soon done; nurse would have been
pleased if she could have put her baby to sleep as
easily. Ada looked at her with a sigh of pleasure,
and showed her to Edith and Mary, who declared
that there never was such a beautiful doll. It was
better than their best.

“ Need she be put by with the best dolls?” asked
Ada, anxiously.

“No, no!” answered her father; “not at all.
She’s sunshine, you know; and we can’t afford to
part with that.”

“ And where’s mother’s sunshine ?” asked Edith,
in her grave fashion.



70 Little Ada’s Fewels.



“We must all be mother’s sunshine, I think,”
returned the father.

Whereat the mother seemed quite satisfied.

“T think your dolly will want some tea out of
my new tea-things,” put in Mary. “Let us take
her upstairs.”

So they took her upstairs, and showed her to
nurse, who was duly astonished at her beauty and
grand dress, and hoped Ada would take care of her.

“Yes, indeed,” said Ada. “I would almost as
soon hurt baby as this beautiful thing.”

Mary got out her tea-things, and “for this once”
nurse gave her some real tea to give the dolly ; and
Ada and Mary were very busy feasting their new
guest. Such laughing and talking went on over it!

“T wonder if Regie used to be our sunshine,” said
Ada, presently ; “and if that is why father got us
some more.”

“T don’t know,” said Mary. Edith said, “I
suppose if people lose one bit of sunshine they get
another; and then they have to be contented and
pleased with their new bit instead of their old,
though perhaps they liked the old best.” Edith

was always wise.







Sunshine and Showers. 71



“ [like having Regie better than dolly,” said Ada.

“Yes; but you ought to be glad to have got the
dolly, as you can’t have Regie,” returned the serious
sister,

“Tam; and I have got father and mother, too—
and you and Mary and Frank and baby. What a
lot of sunshine !”

Edith was right ; because she knew that we ought
to try and be pleased with what we have, instead of
only thinking of being cross about what we lose.
And Ada was right, too, in trying to remember all
the good things she had to be glad about. It is
always better to remember our good things than our
bad ones.

Baby was laughing over his tumbler, which was
such a funny, fat little man, with a red face, and a
blue ball instead of legs. He kept rolling and
tumbling about, and never tumbling down. “ Such
fun,” as they all said.

It was the first time anything had been called
“such fun” that day.

Decidedly, the sunshine had come out again ; and
if in the morning the faces had suggested umbrellas
this evening they suggested parasols !



72 Little Ada’s Fewels.



The next day, Mary and Edith both wanted to
write to Regie; and their mother said she would
give them a stamp if they wrote a nice, tidy letter.
Ada stood looking at them as they wrote, wishing
very much that she could write a letter too. But
she could only make the letters at present—making
them up into words was rather too hard.

“Tell him I will make haste and learn to write
letters,” said Ada; “and then I will write him such
a very long letter—all about dolly and every-
thing.”

“T can’t put all that,” said Mary. “He knows
you will write to him when you can.” ;

‘“‘ Next time you shall tell me all your letter,” said
her mother, “and I will write it down for you.”

“ That’s the best plan,” said Mary, very gladly ; for
Mary’s powers of letter-writing were not very great
at present. She generally began by hoping her
correspondent was quite well, and that they should
meet again soon. Then she said that mother and
father were quite well, and baby could talk a little.
She was sorry she had no more news. That was all
Mary’s letter; so she was very glad not to have all
Ada’s message to put in.



Sunshine and Showers. 73

“ Mine will be a very, very long letter, mother,”
said Ada. ‘Can you put it all in?”

“T will try ; but it must not be to-day, as Edith
and Mary are writing. Perhaps we shall hear from
Regie himself soon.”

Indeed, next day there came a letter, directed to
their mother, in very big letters, and sealed with red
sealing-wax. Mother read it first, and then she took
it upstairs to the nursery to read to them all.

“ Here is a letter from Regie,” said the mother ;
and they all rushed round to hear.

This was Regie’s letter :—

“My pear Moruer,—I am quite well, and all the
fellows here are quite well. They are very jolly
fellows. We have a Jimnasium. I like it very
much, I have learned to swing holding by my toes.
Dr. Jamison has put me in the second class. I shall
learn to swim in the summer. One fellow can
swim half-a-mile. I like school very much. I
hope you will write soon. I should like a hamper,
with a cake init. Tell Frank I hope he will come
to school soon.—I am, your loving son,

“ RecinaLD Martyn.”



74 Little Ada’s Fewels,



“There! is not that a nice letter?’ said the
mother. “ You and I must write our letter to him
to-day. Mustn’t we, Ada?”

Little Ada thought a great deal about this letter ;
there seemed to be so many things to put in it, and
she was not at all sure if they would go in a letter.
Perhaps you wanted something grander for that, she
thought.

“ Now, little Ada,” said her mother, “ you come
and sit on my lap, and tell me what to write, and I
will put it down.”

“What! every word, mother dear
as if that were too good to be true.

“Yes, every word;” and Ada laughed with
pleasure.

“T want to say that I am very glad that he likes
going to school. But I want to know some more
about that gymnasium, and what it is like. And I
am glad he can swing by his toes, and I hope he
will not tumble down. And I am afraid I shall
never like his going to school, except when he comes
home for his holidays. I have found out that he
really is our sunshine, and dolly does not do instead.
But [ love her very much ; and she is very beautiful,

Vg

cried Ada,



re

Sunshine and Showers. 75
indeed ; and nurse has made her a night-gown to gc
to sleep in, and she looks so nice in it. And then
say, mother dear X

“ But [ have not written all that yet, Ada; wait a
minute, and think what you mean to say next.”

Ada waited a minute or two, and when her
mother had finished, she went on—‘ Then, please,
tell him, mother dear, that I think Rags was very
sorry when he went away, for he did not wag his
tail all day. But Rags is quite well, and so are the
rabbits and the puss; and his bird is quite well,
and Edith feeds him every day. And I broke my
mug, but nurse got me a new one with a picture.
And baby broke his tumbler’s head off. Will that
do for a whole letter, mother ?”

“Very well; but you had better end it. Shall I
put that you are his loving sister, or what ?”

“ Oh, he knows that, mother dear !”

So her mother smiled, and finished the letter ;
and when Ada went out walking, she posted it
herself,







CHAP. VI.—BIRTH-DAY PRESENTS.

“ie D what are you so busy about just now,
Ada?” asked her mother, as she came out
one lovely April day.

For Ada was alone in the garden-path, while the
others were playing at the swing ; and she was walk-
ing about very, very slowly, with her eyes fixed on
the ground, sometimes turning over a stone with her
foot. She had been so busy that she had not heard
her mother coming, and now she looked up with a
smile.

“Oh, mother dear! I’m looking for something ;
but I must not tell you what, for it is a great, great
secret. At least it is a secret now ; it won't be by-
and-by.”

“ Looking for a secret, Ada! What a funny thing
to look for all among the stones! I should think it
would bea very hard secret to find out.”



Lirth-day Presents, 77



And the mother went on for her walk, but little
Ada stood laughing, and looking at the stones.

“‘T wonder if I shall ever, ever find one,” she said
to herself ; “how nice it would be if I could. I
should like to find a beautiful diamond to make
mother a ring, and how surprised she would be on
her birth-day.”

And little Ada stood still, with her hands clasped
together, thinking of mother’s birth-day, and such a
very, very grand birth-day present. For Ada had
not forgotten her notion of finding precious stones ;
and now she had set to work in good earnest to look
for one, for mother’s birth-day would come in a week,
and then, what a present a real bright jewel would
be, to be sure !

Do you think Ada was a silly little girl? But,
you know, nobody is very wise at six years old.

“ Such a number of stones,” she thought, “ Per-
haps if I look at them all I shall find a real precious
stone ;” and off she set again upon her search, though
the others were calling to her that they were going
to begin gardening, and she had better come too.

The sun began to be very hot indeed ; and Ada,
though she was so small, had to stoop a little to look



78 Little Ada’s Fewiels.



at the stones, so she soon became uncomfortably
warm, and very tired.

“T wonder why they are so hard to find,” she
said at last, talking to herself quite loudly, as if she
had to make herself heard.

“ Ada,” cried Edith, “won't you come and see
about your garden? What are you looking for!
What did you say was very hard to find ?”

Ada stood still, and put her hands behind her
head—“ Precious stones,” she answered, siowly.

“ Precious stones !” exclaimed Edith, in her grave
way. ‘You do not think you will find precious
stones here—do you, Ada ?”

“Why, there are lots of common stones. I thought
this was like the stones’ street, and a lot of poor
stones walking about in it ; and by-and-by if I looked
I should find some lady and gentleman stones there
too—precious stones, you know.”

“No, there are no such things here,” said Edith,
decidedly. “But nurse said she found the big
yellow one in her brooch at the sea-side ; so you must
wait till we go to the sea-side again, and then look.”
Little Ada looked rather blank.

“ But I want one for mother’s birth-day,” she said.



Birth-day Presents. 1

“We are all going to the shop on Saturday to buy
mother something, you and all—nurse said so; you
have sixpence, you know. Now, will you come and
see about your garden, for baby will try and pull
your rose-tree up ; and nurse said you must see to
your garden yourself,”

Ada’s rose-tree was an odd kind of tree, with
straggling boughs, and a most uncomfortable look
altogether. In the summer it produced some chilly-
looking buds, but they seldom appeared as full-blown
roses ; partly because Ada used to try and pull them
open too soon, and partly because she was too kind
to it, and gave it more water than it wanted.

Such as it was, though, Ada was very fond of it ;
and she heard of baby’s mischievous efforts with
some alarm.

“Oh, my poor little rose-tree !” was her ery ; and
she ran off as fast as she could to her garden.

There were the five little gardens all in a row;
Frank digging in his with such energy that he was
tossing the earth in all directions. Mary and baby
were standing in the middle of Ada’s—baby still
pulling at the rose-tree, and Mary laughing and
trying to coax him away.



80 Little Ada’s Fewels.



“Oh, baby dear !” cried the little sister, “ won't
you leave poor Ada’s flowers alone ?”

“ We will not hurt it,” said Mary. “ But do look
how he tugs! Did you ever see anyone so strong 2”

In point of fact, baby’s strength was not parti-
cularly alarming, but his sisters saw it through the
magnifying glass of love.

“He will scratch his little fingers,” put in the
motherly Edith. ‘‘ Now, baby darling, here is Ada
coming to dig up her own garden. Baby must come
and help Edith now.”

“No!” replied the young gentleman, with great
quickness ; and all the sisters laughed at his cleverness
in making such a speech.

But Edith was a firm person too, and she took
hold of baby’s hand with such decision, that he saw
it was no good to hold out, and allowed himself to
be led away.

Ada had not done any gardening lately, and her
garden was in unusually good order; perhaps these
two things had something to do with each other.
But as she brought her rake to smooth over Mary’s
and baby’s footsteps, she was surprised and charmed
to see a whole tuft of primroses in one corner,



Birth-day Presents. 81

“ Look, Mary! look, Edith !” she cried ; ‘“ I shall
have some flowers out of my own garden for mother
on her birth-day.”

“ How nice!” said Mary.

“ But perhaps they will have faded by then,” said
Edith. “Only some more buds may have come out.”

“ There are quantities of buds,” returned Ada, who
was examining the plant.

“T shall have some mustard and cress by mother’s
birth-day,” said Frank.

“T wish I had anything ; but nothing grows in my
garden,” Mary said. ‘I wish I had a greenhouse!”

Ada made no reply, the idea was too grand.

Nothing now was talked of but their birth-day
presents, and they made up their minds as to what
they would get a hundred times, and then unmade
them again.

“Well, we shall see when we get to the shop,”
Mary said at last, comfortably.

“ But it would be so silly to go to a shop just to
buy something, and not know what,” said Edith.

“T shall know what when I see it,” said Frank,
slowly. “ At any rate, it will be great fun going to
choose.”

F



82 Little Ada’s Fewels.



In the midst: of these uncertainties, Saturday
morning came ; and Mary’s mind was so full of the
shopping, that she did her lessons but badly.

As to Ada, all the little pictures in the spelling-
book seemed to her full of birth-day presents, and
she was so busy looking at them that she forgot to
learn her lesson altogether.

“ Mary,” said her governess, gravely, “ what does
this mean? You are answering most incorrectly.
When I asked what Alfred the Great burned, you
told me a mother-of-pearl pen-wiper.”

The governess looked at Mary through her spec-
tacles, quite surprised ; while Mary seemed not to
know whether to laugh or to cry.

“ Look over that again,” said the governess; “and
if you really do not know it, you must write it out this
afternoon, Now, Ada, give me your spelling-book.”

Ada gave it very reluctantly, and with a slow
look at the words, as if they were friends she was
sorry to part with.

“ Spell grass.”

But instead of beginning “ G-r,” as was expected
of her, Ada unexpectedly began to ery.

“T don’t know how,” she sobbed.



Birth-day Presents. 83



“ And what have you been doing instead of learn-
ing it?”

“Thinking about mother’s birth-day presents,”
sobbed Ada. :

“And is that what you were thinking of too,
Mary,” asked the governess, “when you made that
exceedingly unfit answer about Alfred the Great ?”

“Yes, it was ;” and Mary’s voice betrayed a slight
inclination to aeele

“Then let me remind you that the most accept-
able presents you can make a mother are the obedi-
ence and industry of her children, and that any
presents from idle and disobedient children must be
worthless. Now, sit down and learn your lesson
again, Ada.”

Ada took back the spelling-book, and was told to
learn that as a present to her mother.

“ What a horrid birth-day present,” enouehs Ada.
“Tam glad I don’t get such presents as spelling-
lessons.”

You see little Ada did not atallunderstand whatwas
meant; but you do, I daresay ; and I hope that you
make that kind of present to your mother very often.

Mary did not at all want to have her history to



84 Little Ada’s Fewels.

write out in the afternoon, so she set to work and
learned very quickly, and then repeated it without
any giggling.

Afterwards, Ada managed to spell “ grass,” and a
dozen more words like it, quite perfectly.

It was a very easy lesson, to be sure ; but then she
was very young, you know.

Everybody was glad when the lessons were over,
even Edith, who had worked on as quietly and
steadily as if there were no such things as birth-days
and presents in the world.

“T can’t think how you can, Edith,” said Mary.
. “Then you went on with your history so busily, and
seemed as if you were quite anxious to know what
became of that stupid Major André. If he wanted
not to be hanged, what did he go among his enemies
for? Besides, what does it matter now whether he
was hanged or not”

“T wanted to know, because I was sorry for him ;
and you know he went because ”

“Oh, pray, stop! ve had history enough for
one day. Stupid stuff !”

“Like the history of Goody Two-shoes,” said Ada,
sericusly.





Birth-day Presents. 85



“ And you will like the history of England by-
and-by,” said her sister. “It is very interesting,
only Mary does not remember it, that is why she
calls it stupid. You know father says that when we
think books stupid, we should try and find out
whether the stupidity is in the book or in the reader.”

Ada looked rather frightened at this sentence, and
was glad when they went back to the subject of the
day—namely, the presents.

“T should like to get what I was thinking of this
morning,” said Mary—‘‘a mother-of-pearl pen-wiper.”

“So should I,” said Frank.

“ And me too,” added Ada, very eagerly.

“ Nonsense! three mother-of-pearl pen-wipers for
one mother!” cried Mary, laughing. “You mustn’tall
copy what I say ; think of something for yourselves.”

“ Mother said the other day that she must get a
new thimble,” said Edith. ‘ And I want to buy her
one, but I have only half-a-crown ; and the best I saw
were three shillings. So, will you join me, Frank ?”

“No,” returned Frank ; “a thimble is such a
gitl’s present.”

“Tt would be useful,” said Edith.

And Mary asked —“ Do you suppose mother wants



86 Little Ada’s Fewels.



a boy’s present? Which will you give her, a top or
a whip 2?”

“ Neither,” said Frank, rather crossly ; then he
paused, as if he wished to say something to set Mary
down properly, but his ideas travelled so slowly that
they generally arrived too late. So this time he said
no more.

“May I join with you, Edith?” asked Ada.
“ There is my sixpence.”

“Very well, dear ; and we can get a nice thimble
for three shillings.”

This satisfied everyone for the present, Frank
saying he should see what he wanted when he got
to the shop. The said shop was a place the children
greatly admired and respected. A good many things
were sold there—toys hanging up inside, and all
sorts of ornaments tempting people in the window.

They felt very important that afternoon, when
nurse brought them in, and they stood in a row
before the counter. Baby, not knowing that if you
take anything out of a shop you are expected to
pay for it, immediately trotted off after a fine ball ;
and nurse had to take him up in her arms, at which
he scolded very much.



Birth-day Presents. 87



Ada, meanwhile, was looking with admiration at
the grand dolls under glass cases, and trying to
persuade herself that her own was more beautiful than
any there. ‘At least, if these do look better,” she
thought, “it is only because they are under the
glasses.” Meanwhile, some other customers who had
been occupying the shopman went away, and he
turned to Mary, saying, “ What can I show you to-
day, miss?” Mary was confused for the moment,
and forgot her pen-wiper; but Edith asked quietly
for her thimble.

Ada looked up at her with admiration; she was
just like a grown-up lady shopping, thought the
little sister. The thimble looked very grand and
bright ; and then Mary found her voice, and the pen-
wiper of her fancy—a dear little mother-of-pearl
book, with the pen-wiper part as leaves inside. But
Frank was still undecided, and when the shopman
asked what he would have the pleasure of showing
him to-day, Frank only answered, “I don’t know.”

This was so very puzzling, that there is no knowing
what the shopman would have said next, if Edith
had not luckily spied a pretty little needle-book, to
which she drew Frank’s attention.



88 Little Ada’s Fewels.



“That's just the thing,” he said, and he was going
to take it, when Mary asked, mischievously, if he did
not think a needle-book as much a girl’s present as
a thimble.

This vexed him, and he said, crossly, he was not
going to take it, then. “ Haven’t you anything of
mother-of-pearl /—not so stupid,” he added.

The shopman looked rather puzzled ; the question
certainly was vague.

“Here is a pin-cushion, sir—a yard-measure—a
bodkin-case.”

“These are as bad,” said Frank.

“Here is a nice little paper-knife—very pretty—
quite new.”

“That/ll do!” cried Frank, looking triumphantly
at Mary. “Father uses paper-knives, Mary, so you
can’t say anything now.”

“Why not?” asked Mary, laughing.

But Frank brought out his money, completed his
purchase, and walked off contented. Then what
talking there was about the coming birth-day, and
the best way of presenting their gifts!

“The best way is to put them on mother’s plate
at breakfast-time,” said Edith,



Lirth-day Presents. 89

‘“ But will she be sure to see then?” asked Frank,
thoughtfully.

“No,” returned Mary, laughing; “she will take
the paper-knife for a sausage, and eat it up.”

“J do wish you would not try and be funny,
Mary,” Frank retorted, pettishly.

“ And I wish you would,” said Mary, teasing.

“ And I wish,” said nurse, “that you would not
tease so; it is just like sticking pins into one
another, I declare.”

But the teasing temper had somehow invaded the
party, and in spite of Edith’s serious looks, Frank
and Mary became so quarrelsome, that when they
came home, nurse had recourse to her usual remedy.
She made them all sit down in their chairs round
the room, while she read them a sorrowful story.
They all knew her story, and the unusual voice she
read it in, very well; but they always cried over it.
And after they had cried, they were- generally quite
good again,

I do not expect that any naughty children will
read this book; but in case you should happen to
know any naughty children, and wish to try its
affects on them, I will tell you—Nunsu’s Tan,



SENN

CHAP. VII.—NURSE’S TALE.

HE frost was on the pathway,
The ice was on the pool ;
The school-bell seemed to shiver,
As the children ran to school.

The children’s merry laughter
Rang through the bright, clear air,

As they shook the shining, frosted bough ;
But one was silent there.

Her face was pale and gentle,
Her voice was low and shy ;
She shrank from the noisy jesting
As the merry train swept by.

It is little Mary Wilson ;
And not a year ago

They laid her father to his rest,
Down where the daisies grow.

The merry little ones have had
Of food and fire their share ;

But Mary’s home is very cold,
The cupboard very bare.



Nurse’s Tale. 91



“ Mother is cold and hungry,
And little baby too ;”
She thought that in the sunshine,
And it dimmed the sky’s bright blue,

And yet she has a comfort,
From which she cannot part—
A faith more bright than sunshine
Is lighting up her heart.

“We are poor and cold and hungry,”
So to herself she said ;

“But I think our Father knows it,
And He will send us bread.”

And when the school is over,
And she goes sadly back,
And finds her mother crying there,
By the hearth that’s chill and black—

She throws her arms around her,
And whispers, “ Do not cry ;

Mother, I think our Father knows,
He'll help us by-and-by.”

Sobbing, the mother answered,

“ Ah, child ! my heart will break !
It’s not myself I mind for,

But for yours and baby’s sake.

“The people that I’ve worked for
Have gone away, you know ;



Little Ada’s Fewels.

No other work is to be found
In all this frost and snow.

“ And I must go up to the Board,
And ask them for relief ;

I never thought to come to that !”
She cried out in her grief.

She gave the babe to Mary,
And went out through the cold;

And Mary hushed the child, and thought
Of histories of old.

She thought of Him who journeyed
Through deserts wild and long,

And how upon the green hill-side
He fed the famished throng.

She thought of Him, once too a child,
Poor, and of low estate,

Who reigns in highest Heaven now,
Within the golden gate.

“ He fed them, though they did not ask;
He has been very poor ;

He knows that we are sorrowful ;
He'll help us, 1 am sure.”

Meanwhile the weary mother
Had made her lonely way,

And waited with the faded crowd
Who asked relief that day.



Nurse’s Tale. 93

She went up pale and trembling,
And sadly spoke and cried,

When they said, “Go in the workhouse,
Since you cannot live outside.”

But she could not seek that shelter,
And from her children part ;

So silently she crept away,
With her poor bleeding heart.

The starlight time was coming,
And the fields looked dark and drear ;
The trees stood black, the wind was hushed,
The birds seemed still with fear.

The sun had set, the silence
O’er all the land was dread ;

The snow gleamed white as His great white throne,
Who shall judge the quick and dead.

And she went by the churchyard,
So-solemn and so still;

Where the snow above and the dead below,
Lay each so pale and still.

There lay her children’s father,
By the yew-trees dark and trim;

And she sobbed, “Oh! cannot he come back,
Or take us all to him?”

And she thought of him, her soldier,
And their journeys far and bright,



94

Little Ada’s Fewels.



Through days of cloudless sunshine,
And many a gleaming night ;

In lands of shining flowers,
Where the grapes hung thick and low,
And the splendour of the sunset
Flashed with a dazzling glow.

And coming near her cottage,
And groping down the lane,
She saw a pink and yellow blaze
Shine on the window-pane,

And even before her footsteps
Had reached the garden-gate,

Mary was waiting at the door,
And saying “ You are late.

“Such good news has been waiting,
I longed for you to come ;

Look how my fire blazes
To welcome you at home !”

The mother’s silent wonder
Quite took away her breath ;

“Come, warm your hands, dear mother,
You look as pale as death,

“ And sit down while I tell you,
How, all this afternoon,

I thought some help was coming 3
I knew it must come soon,







Nurse’s Tale. 95



“ And when there came a footstep,
I stood quite still to hear ;

And then a knock came at the door—
I opened, mother dear.

“ And then I saw the lady
Who was so good to you

When all our troubles came before ;
Now she has come back too.

“She promised you some work to do,
She sent us fire and food ;

And she will be our friend, she says—
Oh ! is it not too good 2”

The mother wept in silence,
But they were not tears of grief;
And Mary said, “ Our Father knew,
And He has sent relief.”

7a (OS



A Sudden Visit. 97



“How nice they look!” said Ada, when the
children were up, and turning over their parcels for
the twentieth time.

“May I run down and put them in mother’s
plate, nurse?” Edith said.

“ And let us too,” cried the rest, in chorus.

“Well, run down, and be quick back again to
breakfast.”

So they ran downstairs, meaning to go very softly ;
but as they passed by the door of their father’s and
mother’s room, a voice cried out—

“Who goes there ?”

Of course they all stopped and giggled under their
breath, and then the door opened, and their father
looked out laughing.

“What little brigands are these?” said he.

But they held up their fingers, and hushed him
mysteriously.

“Why! what!” he whispered, more mysteriously
still. “You don’t mean to say there’s a secret
about? Then I shall run away ; I am so very much
afraid of secrets.”

He shut his door again, and the children ran on.
A good deal of debate went on as to arranging the

iG



Full Text


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The Baldwin Library

University
mB we
Florida


Hittle Ada’s Iewels

LITTLE ADA’S JEWELS

BY

FANNY LEVIEN



Landon:
MARCUS WARD & CO., 67, CHANDOS STREET
AND ROYAL ULSTER WORKS, BELFAST
1875

CONTENTS.





CHAP. PAGE
I.—THE JEWEL IN THE SNOW ; . Z 7
II.—CuHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS . . : 16
III.—THE SLEDGE : . ‘ . « . 34
IV.—FATHER’S TALE ; 2 a . 44
V.—SUNSHINE AND SHOWERS 5 : - 63
VI.—BIRTH-DAY PRESENTS . ‘ : i 76
VII.—NuRSE's TALE . . . ‘ 99
VIII.—A SuDDEN VISIT : : : : 96
IX.—Hopes AND FEARS a 5 : oc Le
X.—THE JEWELS FOUND . 6 ‘ . 133
OOO ane aa
ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE BARREL ORGAN (p. 11). : . Frontispiece.
PAGE
THE SLEDGE (see Cover) . . - . «37
DOLLY TAKES TEA ‘. . . . : 7°
‘In LANDS OF SHINING FLOWERS.” . . + 94

MAKING GARLANDS. . . . . 132







LITTLE ADA’S JEWELS.



CHAP. I.—THE JEWEL IN THE SNOW.

qos Ada was looking out of the window,
Sq feeling very much inclined to cry. Would you
like to know why?

It was a very cold winter’s day, but the sun was
shining, and the snow looked so white and nice, just
as if all the world had turned into a great sugar-
basin ; and down below, in the garden, Ada’s two
brothers, Regie and Frank, and her two sisters, Edith
and Mary, were running about laughing and snow-
balling each other. But nurse had said Ada
must not go out, because she had a cold; and it was
such stupid work watching all the fun from the
8 Little Ada’s Fewels.
nursery window, that Ada had to shut her eyes quite
tight to keep back the tears.

How they ran about in the garden, to be sure!
Regie made such big snowballs that Frank was soon
as white as a miller, and Edith and Mary were almost
as floury-looking.

“Oh dear!” sighed Ada, as her eyes came open
and filled with tears; “what fun it must be out in
the snow !”

“Come, Miss Ada,” said nurse, “ don’t stand there
fretting—what’s the good ?”

“T want to go out in the snow and play,” returned
Ada, in a rather doleful voice.

“T know that,” said nurse; and she really did know
it, for Ada had said so six times already. “But you
can’t go to-day, you know, because you are not well.
Never mind ; better luck to-morrow, I hope. Now,
make yourself happy indoors.”

This was very good advice, to be sure; but it is
not always easy to be happy when we are told.

“ Indoors is a stupid place,” said Ada. ‘“ There’s
no snow there.”

Nurse seemed somewhat hurt at this remark—
“Snow, indeed!” she cried; “I should hope not.
The Fewel in the Snow. 9



Look at poor baby in his bed ; what would he do if
it were full of snow, do you think ?”

“ But wouldn’t it be nice if we had something that
shone like the snow and could be made into snow-
balls, only that didn’t melt? What fun we should
have here, then! I wonder what it could be? Per-
haps precious stones, like mamma’s rings, all
chopped up small. Do you think you could chop up
precious stones, nurse ?”

“‘T shouldn’t wish to be so mischievous, miss ; but
I suppose you could, if you tried hard enough.”

Ada thought a moment, then began again. “Do
you think I could find any precious stones, nurse 1
There are so many stones about.”

“Perhaps you might—some fine day when it
rains.”

Ada sighed ; she had so often heard of that fine
day ; but all the fine days she remembered, it had not
rained. “TI wish I could find some; how fine I
would make the room look! And baby would like
that too,” said Ada, looking towards the bed, where
two or three brown curls on a pillow were all that
could be seen of baby. However, some idea that he
was being talked about seemed to disturb him at
10; Little Ada’s Fewels.



the moment, for he put out a little fat hand and
made some efforts to sit up. Nurse exclaimed that
he had only been in bed half-an-hour, and what a
thing it was! But baby seemed so sure in his own
mind that he had been in bed long enough, that
there was nothing for it but to take him up.

“And now, Miss Ada, you come and play with
him nicely,” said nurse, and baby made a great
business of trotting across the room to his sister.
He came in a great hurry, sometimes running to the
right, sometimes to the left, and stopping at all the
chairs on his way. It was quite a journey for him
to get all across the nursery by himself, for he was
not yet two years old, and had not run alone very
long.

Ada turned towards him and away from the snow,
as it luckily struck her that if she could not be happy
herself, she might make baby happy. He was ina
great hurry to reach her, and taking hold of her hand
began to pull her towards the other side of the room.
He could not say much at present, but he pulled the
people and pointed to the things he wanted, and that
was enough for him,

“What does baby want?” said Ada. And baby,
The Fewel in the Snow. 11



with a great deal of pointing, said something that
sounded like ‘“ Moo, moo!”

This certainly seemed to have something to do with
a cow ; but that was not baby’s meaning, as Ada well
knew. He was talking about the music of a funny ~
little barrel organ, the handle of which baby could
turn, to his great satisfaction.

“Does baby want the pretty music?” asked little
Ada ; and she lifted it down for him ; then they sat
down on the ground and played with it. They
listened to it, and opened the lid, and peeped in to
see where the music came from; such funny music
it was too, jumping and jerking as baby tugged at
the handle. (See Frontispiece.) He was charmed
with his own playing, though, and laughed to hear it,
and so did Ada, till she quite forgot about the snow.

Look at the picture and see how happy they look.
There is baby working away at his music, and
watching the little reels go round inside; and Ada
just as pleased as he. She does not think indoors a
stupid place now—does she ?

It is such a good thing to try and make other
people happy when you cannot be happy yourself.
It ends in your all being happy together.
12 Little Ada’s Fewels.



By-and-by baby gave up his music, and pulled
Ada to the window, where she helped him up on the
window-seat to see what was going on in the garden.
The snowballing had come to an end, and there were
Regie and Frank and Edith and Mary all very busy
with the little spades they had had at the sea-side,
making a snow man. Such a very odd man he was.
I never saw a real man like him, and I hope I never
may; for he had no head, or neck, or arms, to
speak of, but stood looking like a little hill of snow.
However, they did give him eyes and nose and
mouth; the eyes were two stones, and the nose
and mouth two holes they had made with their
spades. At last Regie got a bit of stick for a pipe,
and put it in his mouth. Then he looked more
like a man than ever; for who but a man would
smoke a pipe?

Then the children laughed and clapped their hands
to see the snow man look so real, and baby and Ada
laughed and clapped too.

But just in the midst of their fun came the
dressing-bell, ten minutes before dinner-time ; and as
the snow man’s friends were very hungry, they all
turned their backs upon him very readily, and rushed

»
The Fewel tn the Snow. 13



into the house. Upstairs they ran and into the
nursery, all talking and laughing at once; and baby
trotted to meet them, laughing too. Ada, however,
stood still by the window, looking and looking as if
she saw some very strange thing outside.

“Hullo, Ada! what do you see?” cried Regie.
“Ts the snow man smoking his pipe so fast that he
is melting ?”

The children laughed again, but Ada went up to
her brother very gravely, and told him to stoop down,
she wanted to whisper in his ear.

Regie did as he was asked, and Ada whispered,
“T want to find a precious stone, and I think I see
one in the garden.”

“Not likely, Ada,” returned Regie, wisely.
“People have to go down great dark holes to find
them, I think. Where do you think it is ”

“You can see it from the window,” said Ada,
“shining and shining close by your snow man.” She
pointed out the place to him, and all the others came
crowding round to hear what Ada’s secret was, while
Regie ran down to pick up her treasure. Ada
watched from the window with sparkling eyes ; saw
him run out, reach the spot, pick up the shining
14 Little Ada’s Fewiels.



thing, wave his hand to the window, and run in
again. Then upstairs he came, two stairs at a time.
Ada ran to meet him.

“Tm very sorry, Ada,” he panted, laughing, “ you
have not been lucky enough to find a diamond this
time. Guess what it is.”

“A pearl,”.said Ada. “Oh! do pearls shine,
though ?”

“No!” he said, laughing. “ And don’t you know,
Ada, pearls come up out of the sea—the oysters have
them in their shells.”

“ How funny!” said little Ada. ‘Fishes can’t want
pearl rings—and besides, they couldn’t wear them,
for they haven’t any fingers. But what was my
thing, Regie? Do tell me! Was it anything the
fairies had left ?”

“ Not they,” said Regie. ‘“ Don’t you know nurse’s
story, that all the jewels the fairies drop turn into
dew when the sun rises? This is not anything
belonging to the fairies—it was a very good thing
once, I daresay, and ever so useful, Ada, only it’s
broken now. Can’t you guess ”

“T thought it was a diamond,” faltered Ada,
looking wistfully at the hand he held behind him.
The Fewel in the Snow. 15



“ But I told you that it wasn’t a diamond this time,”
and he held it out to her.

How disappointed little Ada was to see only a piece
of a broken bottle. It had looked so bright in the
sunshine. Poor little Ada nearly cried again, but
nurse said as usual, “ Never mind ; better luck next
time.”

So Ada hoped to find a real precious stone on

that fine day when it rained ; and then they all went
to dinner,




CHAP. II,—CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS,

af as glad to tell you that little Ada’s cold had
quite gone the next day, though the snow still
remained, and the sun made it sparkle as it had
done yesterday.

“T may go out to-day ?” she asked nurse, almost as
goon as she got out of bed that morning.

“ We'll see about it,” said nurse, in a hopeful tone,
which quite satisfied the little girl.

Ada knew that when things were “ seen about” in
that way they were pretty sure to come to pass, And
what a pleasant thought that was!

As soon as the children were dressed, they all
went into the day nursery to breakfast. This was
only allowed in holiday time ; at other seasons, Regie
and Frank and Edith had breakfast in the school-
room, That was a grave, quiet business: nobody
Christmas Holidays. 17



might talk, spill their tea, or make any crumbs ; but
everybody must take what was wanted without loss
of time, and then begin work. Nobody cared about
those breakfasts, but this one was very different.

“ Breakfasts in the nursery are such fun,” said the
children ; for nurse provided bowls of bread and
milk, so that there was little fear of ‘ making slops ;”
she let them talk as much as they pleased, so long as
they did not choke ; while as to being quick, since
there was nothing to be done but play afterwards,
that was of no consequence.

On this particular morning, the children were
merrier than ever. I could not count the number of
times that the word “fun” came into their talk. The
snow was “such fun,” and the fine weather overhead
“such fun,” and so was baby’s perpetual hunt after
the kitten, which he never caught. It was very
odd that baby always thought he should catch the
kitten, since she always sprang away before he was any-
where near her, and he never had a chance with her,
so much quicker was she on her four legs than he on
his two. But whenever he saw her again, he always

trotted after her, as if it were quite a new idea, and

he were sure to have her this time. “ Such fun!” the
B
18 Little Ada’s Fewets.



other children said. Then it was “such fun” that
this was Christmas Eve, and mamma had gone out
yesterday to get their Christmas presents. And they
were to dress the house with holly to-day, and have a
game at blind man’s buff in the hall in “ blind man’s
holiday time,” and papa had promised to play too.
Above all, Aunt Mary was coming this afternoon,
which they all agreed was the best fun of all.

With so many pleasant things to look forward to,
you may imagine what a happy party it was that
nurse gathered round her breakfast table this morning ;
indeed, there were such bursts of laughter every now
and then, that she had to call them to order pretty
frequently. ~

“Now, Master Regie, I won’t have such a noise,
Master Frank, leave baby alone !”

“He wants to brush his hair with his tea-spoon, —
nurse ;” at which everybody giggled again.

“Tl tell you what we'll do to-day,” cried Regie.
“We'll make a bigger snow man than yesterday—
as big as me—and we'll put on him my old hat and
coat, and leave him; and then, when Aunt Mary
comes, she’ll think it’s me sitting there, and won’t she
call out!”
Christmas Holidays. 19



Fresh bursts of laughter greeted this speech, though
there was not much to laugh at—was there? Still,
the best of a joke is always the laughter it causes ;
and judged by that rule, Regie’s were always very
good jokes indeed.

But the jokes hindered the breakfast not a little,
and at last even nurse’s patience came to an end,
though the bread and milk did not. She said, “ Now,
young ladies and gentlemen, if you have not finished
your breakfasts in about five minutes, I shall clear
them all away.”

“Oh, nurse, what a shame!” was the general ex-
clamation. “ Holiday time and all !”

“Holiday time to you is a very poor holiday to
me, I can tell you,” returned nurse, in rather an injured
tone. ‘“ There, now, make haste, or what’s to become
of all my work, I wonder!”

Thus urged, the spoons began to visit the bread
and milk rather more quickly, and a business-like
look came over all their faces, till all the bowls were
empty. For to have lost half their breakfast would
have been by no means “ such fun!”

As soon as the howls were all empty, nurse was
very glad to get rid of the noisy little society, which
20 Little Ada’s Fewels.



was overflowing in its laughter in rather an incon-
venient way. ‘ Now,” said she, “itis fine enough
for you all to run out and play in the front garden,
and I can take baby out there, too, for a little turn
presently. Mind you keep right in front, and do not
get into mischief.”

“ We'll make another snow man,” was the reply of
the party through Regie, who generally acted as
tongue for the troop. So after a great deal of
wrapping and buttoning and fastening, they were at
length all ready fora start. And what a start it was!
“One, two, three, and away!” shouted Regie, and
downstairs they rushed with such a noise. Even
Edith, the eldst sister and the wisest, was carried
away with the stream. The sound was something like
that of the Falls of Niagara, which, as you know, can
be heard at a distance of ten miles or more.

No wonder that nurse called out “ Hush! hush !”
from the top of the stairs ; or that mother rushed out
from the dining-room to ask who was hurt; or that
Rags, their brown dog, began to bark wildly.

“My dear children,” said their mother, “ was there
ever such a noise before !”

Then they were rather ashamed of themselves, and
Christmas Holidays. 21



went down quietly, though in the garden, I must
say, the noise was as bad as ever. However, that did
not much matter, as they were in the open air.

“Oh, how nice! how nice!” cried little Ada, ©
dancing about in the crisp snow, and looking up at
the light blue sky overhead. ‘“ What fun it is!”

It was about the 160th time that that remark had
been made that morning ; but no matter, it expressed
what she meant, and that was enough for her. What
is the good of a new word when an old one does as
well ?

So “what fun,” said Ada, and the others re-
peated the same remark in a shout, as they danced
about, all but Edith, like little white Indians, with-
out war-paint.

“ Now for our new snow man,” cried Regie. “Have
you all got your spades ?”

Yes, every spade was ready, and they looked to
their leader for directions.

“There’s a bit left of our old snow man yesterday,”
said Frank, “Shall we build him up again ?”

“No, no!” said Regie, “he looks all dirty and
gravelly! Look at his yellow face! I’m sure he’s
had ‘yellow jaundice! Let’s have a new one.”
bo

2 Little Ada’s Fewels.



The others were quite agreed, and began to shovel
up the snow as busily as might be. Little Ada,
however, could not help bringing some of the snow
from the old snow man to put on the new one—she
thought it was so hard upon him to be left out
altogether. But though she filled her little spade
with great care, it would twist over before she could —
get it to the new man. Then she picked it up very
carefully, and perhaps dropped it again; so that
what she brought was about as much asa pinch of
salt.

Still, it was a very kind thought of little Ada’s ;
and certainly, if the old snow man had not been a
cold creature, without any feeling at all, he would
have been very grateful to her. The others did not
think of him, but bustled about scraping and digging
up the snow in such a fuss that you would have
thought they were building a town at least.

“ There, it’s famously big already !” said Frank at
last ; for he was soon satisfied, and would have liked
a change to snowballing.

“ Nonsense,” returned King Regie, “it is not
half big enough! Why, it’s only about as big as baby,
and I said it was to be as big as me,”
Christmas Holidays. 23



This was not such a very great size after all, but
the rest of them rather respected it, because it was
bigger than any of them.

So they set to work again, and were so industrious,
that they by-and-by began to grow quite hot and
tired.

“TJ think it will never be as big as Regie,” said
little Ada, “You know, Regie, you are twelve
years old, so it took you twelve years to get as big as
you are. Such a long time!”

Regie laughed, and began putting the finishing
touches to his work, being rather tired of it himself
by this time.

“There, now,” he said, “he’s big enough. Let
us just flatten him down and give him his pipe, and
get him a hat and coat, and he'll look fine.”

But nurse declined to bestow a hat and coat on
the snow man. Regie’s mother, she said, had ordered
his old things to be kept for someone who could
really feel the cold and frost, and they must not be
spoiled. But they might take an old newspaper and
make a cocked hat out of that, if they liked.

“ But, then, it won’t look like me,” said Regie.

“Tike you! I should think not,” cried nurse, in
24 Little Ada’s Sewels.

such an offended tone, that he ran off without
saying anything more—contenting himself with the
newspaper hat. It really looked rather grand over
his pipe, and made their man like a picture of
Captain Cook, they said. Unfortunate resemblance
for the man of snow! No sooner was it discovered,
than Regie and Frank began to pretend they were
savages attacking the captain, who, being rather
unsteady already, soon tumbled over, cocked hat
and all, in the most undignified way.

At this downfall Ada looked rather alarmed, for
she was afraid Regie would want them to build it
up again; but, happily, nurse announced at the
moment that Ada had been out long enough, and
must come innow. The little girl was quite ready
to obey, the bright light upon the snow made her
feel quite giddy, and she had a back-ache from
digging so much, But just as she reached the
door, loud shouts from the others made her look
round,

“'There’s the holly coming!” cried they. “Look
there! Hurrah!”

And Ada saw a man coming up the path, wheeling
such a great heap of holly before him, that he looked
bo
Seu

Christmas Holidays.



like a walking tree. The children rushed round him
in great delight.

“Look what a lot of berries!” was their cry.
“What leaves! Won't we dressthe house up nicely !”
And they danced round the poor man till he was quite
confused.

“ You wait till I get it up to the house,” said he,
in a low tone. “Tl be glad enough to get shut
of it, I know.”

And up to the house they all came in a confused
heap—man, cart, holly, and children, quite a proces-
sion. When they reached the door, they all ran to un-
load the evergreens, little Ada and all.

What large bundles they picked up, to be sure!
and how certain they were to drop half of them!
How they ran about and laughed, and exclaimed and
screamed when the holly pricked their fingers!

“Oh, how it does scratch !” cried Mary.

“Well, miss,” returned the man, rather resent-
fully—for he had brought the holly, and did not like
to hear it found fault with—‘“you’ve no call to
meddle with it ; if you let it alone, it would let you
alone, you know.”

Edith said that was very true, and Mary laughed
26 Little Ada’s Fewels.

(she always laughed) and said she did not mind it.
The man seemed to give it all up as a bad job now,
and leant against his cart, looking unhappy, but very
meek, At last nurse came to the rescue, and also
the housemaid, who was extremely indignant at the
berries being knocked off and trampled about the
hall.

With the help of their more careful hands, the
evergreens were nicely arranged in two large baskets,
ready to dress the house that afternoon. Of course
the children wanted to begin at once ; but this could
not be allowed, as their mother did not want them in
the drawing-room just then. ‘“ Besides, it’s time to
dress for dinner,” said nurse. ‘Come upstairs and
wash your hands, and let me make you tidy ; for any-
thing more like wild Turks than you all look now, I
never did see.”

“What do wild Turks look like?’ asked Ada,
seriously.

“ As like all of you as can be, I daresay,” replied
nurse,

And certainly, if that were the case, wild Turks
must have very flushed faces, and very bright eyes,
and very rough hair, and very, very black little hands.
Christmas Holidays. 27



However, under the influence of brushes and soap
and water, their wild Turkish appearance was soon —
changed to nurse’s satisfaction.

Dinner was the next consideration, and then came
the holly-dressing, which they thought the great
event of the day. Edith and Regie ran down first
to know if mother could have them in the drawing-
room now.

“Yes, they might all come, baby and all,” she
said.

So downstairs they ran, nurse carrying baby ;
and mother had one of the holly baskets brought
upstairs, and, putting on an old pair of gloves, she
began cutting off the little berried twigs to be ready
for use.

“Now, we will make a little wreath for grand-
papa’s picture,” she said. “I will put it together,
and you shall give me the pieces.”

All hands were at once plunged into the basket,
even baby’s; but he looked so sad when he got his
fingers pricked, that mother took him on her lap and
let him hold the string instead. The others handed
up pieces faster than their mother could use them,
and each was in such a hurry to get his or her piece
28 Little Ada’s Fewels.

taken, that mother had to remind them she could only
use one at a time—they must be patient, and hand in
turns. After this she got on much more quickly
with her work, and she had nearly finished it when
she heard a little sob behind the chair. She looked
round, and saw that little Ada had retired there to
cry in private.

“ What is the matter, my darling ?” mother asked.

“Tt’s never my turn,” sobbed little Ada. “I’ve
held this piece all the time, and it’s never my turn
to give it.”

“ Poor little Ada! don’t cry, and give it to me
now—there’s a good little girl. See, Regie, if every-
body has one turn, that makes it all right; but
somebody takes two turns, somebody else gets none,
and that makes it all wrong.”

“ T see, mother,” said Regie ; and Edith took little
Ada by her and saw that her pieces went into the
wreath with the rest, so that she was soon quite
happy again.

When the wreath was finished, mother put it up
over the picture, where it looked very grand indeed ;
and then they finished dressing the drawing-room,
and after that the dining-room.


Christmas Holidays. 29

They were so busy, that the short afternoon was
drawing to a close, and it was beginning to get dark,
before they-had finished their work, and taken the
last sprays up to nurse.

“Ts it almost blind man’s holiday ?” asked little
Ada.

“Quite, I think,” said her mother, laughing.
“That will do, for we cannot see to do any more,
I think from now till we light the lamps the holiday
may be said to last. Let us go down into the hall
and watch for papa and Aunt Mary.”

Ada went there, thinking what short holidays the
poor blind man had. She was glad theirs lasted
longer.

The hall was a large, pleasant place, with curtains
over the doors, and a great fire upon the hearth.
There they waited. some time, now dancing about
the hall, now standing still to listen, till their patience
was almost exhausted. No wonder at that, since
they had not a great deal; and Aunt Mary’s
train was as late as trains generally are on Christ-
mas Eve.

At last came a great outcry, “The carriage is
coming, mother! We can hear it !”
30 ' Little Ada’s Fewels.



“ Hush ! how is it possible to hear anything if you
make such a noise ?”

But the carriage really was there, and in a moment
it was stopping ; the door opened, and first came in
a rush of cold air, then a tall fair lady, dressed in
black, who was Aunt Mary; then a gentleman, tall
too, but with dark hair and eyes, who was the
children’s father.

Mother and aunt embraced, and then everybody
else, in quite a confusion of kisses; the servants
brought in luggage; and Rags, who always joined in
when he heard a noise, barked frantically.

“My dear Mary, this disturbance will quite be-
wilder you,” said the mother; while the father wag
quieting the children, and turning out the dog. The
servants, too, carried off the boxes, so that in a few
moments peace was restored, and the party gathered
round the fire and looked at each other.

Aunt Mary had a sweet face, as bright and calm
as the moonlight, and almost as pale. She smiled at
the mention of the noise.

“ Annie, dear,” she said, “a noise refreshes me, I
come from such a silent home.”

For Aunt Mary’s home had once been full of
Christmas Holidays. 31



voices too—a husband’s voice and children’s voices
had been like music there. And now all but one
were to be heard né more in this world, and that one
was far away; yet Aunt Mary could smile in her
silent house, hoping for the time when she should
hear all those dear voices again in the land where the
angels sing.

“ You are tired, though, after your journey,” said
the mother. ‘Come upstairs with me, and let me
give you some tea by your own fire. These up-
roarious people are waiting for a romp with their
father.”

The “uproarious people” laughed and looked at
him.

“Oh, I haven’t forgotten my promise!” he said.
“ Let’s have a good game at blind man’s buff—who
will be blinded first ?”

“ You be blinded first, father,” was the cry ; and
Regie got upon a chair to blindfold his father,
so that he ‘should see nothing but dark,” as Ada
said.

At first he would seea great deal more, though, in
spite of Regie’s efforts ; but at length he owned that
he was “quite in the dark about everything.” So
2 Little Ada’s Fewels.

oo



then, he was taken into the middle of the hall to turn
round three times, and catch whom he might.

He turned round, while all the little ones ran off
into the corners of the hall; but they did not long
remain there, for he dashed across after them with
arms outstretched, and they fled shrieking. Never
was there such a blind man for quickness ; he seemed
to be here, there, and everywhere at once. No
sooner did you see him safe in one part of the room,
than there he came swooping down right upon you
in another. However, the children were quick enough
too ; they popped down under his arms and scrambled
off, scores of times ; till at last little Ada was picked
up as she was running behind a chair, and lifted up
very high in the air to be kissed.

“Now, little one, will you be blind man?”

Ada looked doubtful. “If I may be blind man
without the handkerchief,” she said.

“Nonsense, Ada,” said Mary, “how can you be
blind man if you're not blinded!”

“Regie, do it for me,” said Ada, who was Regie’s
particular pet.

So Regie was blinded, and a capital blind man he
made ; indeed, they had “such fun,” that nothing -
Christmas [Toliduys. 35





could be more unwelcome than the appearance of
nurse, when she came to say tea was ready.

Perhaps their father was not quite as sorry as they
were, for he was a doctor, and had been busy visiting
sick people all day, until it was time to meet Aunt
Mary, and may have wished now for a little rest.

At any rate, he at once proposed that Ada should
ride on his back upstairs, and that the others should
run after them and try tocatch them. In this fashion
up they all rushed with the noise of Niagara again,
if only a waterfall could go up instead of coming
down. Only, then, it would not be a waterfall,
would it?




CHAP. ITIl.—THE SLEDGE.

pom and Mary and little Ada all slept in a
nice large room next door to the nursery. The
room contained their favourite pictures, and many
other treasures.

To-night they did not forget to hang up their
stockings at the foot of their beds, in hopes of finding
fresh treasures there in the morning. I say “ their
stockings,” for Edith and Mary really did hang up
their own; but last year Ada had worn socks, and
this year her stockings were much too small to hold
any presents worth mentioning, so her mother had
given her a handsome silk one instead.

This was now hanging at the foot of Ada’s bed,
looking very limp and tired, and not at all inclined
to sit up all night waiting for presents. Little Ada
smiled at it as she lay down in bed, thinking how
The Sledge. 35



different iy would look in the morning. However,
she did not think of anything very long, but soon
smiled herself off to sleep.

She never heard Edith and Mary come to bed ; but
after she had been asleep a very, very long time,
as it appeared to her, she heard someone say, ‘ ‘They
must be filled now! Let us get up and see!”

Ada’s little sleep-sealed eyes unclosed very slowly.
“What are filled ?’ she asked, drowsily.

“Why, the stockings, to be sure,” answered Mary,
in the most wide-awake tone. “I shall get up and
look.”

“Better not,” murmured Edith, half asleep.

Ada quite opened her eyes now and sat up in bed.
How strange the room looked, to be sure ; Ada had
never seen it look go before, she thought. There

. was a great white streak of moonlight coming between
the curtains and making such a strange shining on
the looking-glass, while all the rest of the room
looked dark and big. Then the little white figure,
creeping out of bed and stepping into the white path
of light, did not look like Mary, but like some pale
creature with white hair.

It seemed dreadful to Ada, and she began to ery,
36 Little Ada’s Fewiels.

but very softly, for she was too much frightened to
ery loudly. However, Edith heard her, and jumping
up, came to her across the moonlight, with such a
black shadow behind her that Ada almost trembled
at the sight. But her sister’s arms put round her
soon comforted her, and when Edith wanted to know
what she was crying for, Ada could not exactly say,
only she was frightened.

“Why, there’s nothing to be afraid of,” said
Edith.

“No,” Ada began, rather doubtfully, “only the
room looks so strange and big, and the light is so
white on the floor. I never saw it there before.”

“ Because you are always asleep, you know. You
never saw it before at this time.”

“ But I didn’t know it looked so horrid,” said Ada,
clinging to her.

“ What does it matter what nights look like?” said
Edith. ‘They are meant for people to sleep in—
like beds. Shut your eyes again and go to sleep ;
then you will not mind, you know.”

Then Mary was heard to laugh, and declare that
the stockings were full of the “ oddest-feeling” things.

But just then the clock struck five, and Edith
The Sledge. 37



exclaimed that Mary really must get into bed again
and leave the stockings till daylight, and that Ada
must go to sleep.

“Yes, I will,” said Ada; “TI don’t like this five
o'clock half as well as our own five o’clock—then it’s
always tea-time, but this is nothing-time.”

With which remarks all settled themselves in bed
again, and Ada saw no more until daylight had
come and made the room look like itself again.

“And now for the stockings,” cried Mary; and
jumping out of bed, she gave Edith and Ada theirs,
and then jumped in again with her own.

It would take too long to tell you all the presents
they found; enough to say that each had twelve
presents, and the most charming things. They made
the beds look just like shops, Ada thought—a “shop”
being her idea of the most splendid and richest place
in the world.

But the best present came to them after they were
all up and dressed ; this was a beautiful little sledge,
in which they could push each other about over the
snow. They wanted to go out with it at once, but
that was not allowed till the afternoon, when they
had what they called “the greatest fun” with it
38 Little Ada’s Fewels.



Regie and Frank giving each of the sisters rides in
turns.

Still better was it when their father came out, and
said now he was going to drive the sledge a little.
Regie had gone fast, but father seemed to fly along
like the wind, while the bushes streamed past as if
they were flying too. The garden rang again with
peals of laughter.

And now the light was getting rather low—“ at the
edge of the sky,” Ada said, “as if it was going to fall
off altogether.” ‘The wind blew coldly and the grey
clouds were gathering. It was a time to think the
fireside more cheerful than the garden, and even
Regie was content to go in.

“Tam sorry our ride’s over,” remarked Ada.
“ But we have three more treats to-day—tea with
mother and father, and the snap-dragon, and father’s
story.”

“You see,” said her father to Aunt Mary, “you
have always the same arrangements to expect here,
As Ada tells you, we do not vary our amusements ;
we still wind up with the story by the Christmas fire
-—around which we sit, looking cosy.”

“ You know how nice itis, Aunt Mary,” said Edith,


The Sledge. 39



“ Nice or not,” continued her father, “TI feel that
it is the right thing to do to-night—-sit and tell tales ;
and however stupid, sleepy, and tiresome my story
might be, and however much my fire should scorch
my face, I should still feel it my duty to tell my tale
and sit by the blaze.”

“Tam glad to hear it,” said Aunt Mary, “and
look forward to both as two more treats, according
to Ada.”

The children were sent upstairs to take their
things off and play a little in the nursery before it
was time to be made tidy for tea. But they did not
much care for their game, it was rather stupid work
after the sledge in the garden with their father for
their play-fellow. Indeed they were all in danger of
getting cross—and what a sad thing that would have
been on Christmas-day !—when, happily, nurse dis-
covered that it was time to dress them all and send
them downstairs. What a difference that made!
Before their dressing, such rough hair and rather
dull faces, and grimy hands and tired voices ; but
afterwards, shining curls and eyes, and smiles—such
merry voices, sounding as if they could never be tired
or cross again.


40 Little Ada’s Fewels.



In such trim they went downstairs and took their
places at the long tea-table, which was covered with
good things. Little Ada sat by mother, being the
youngest there ; for, of course, baby had gone to bed.
She looked down the table, shining with plate and
silver, with the bright, beautiful urn singing opposite
her mother, and, more than all, ornamented with the
happy faces round it.

How beautiful it all was, she thought ; as bright
as the jewels about which she had so many fancies.
How happy they all were, to be sure!

Their father made them laugh at tea-time with his
funny sayings, till their mother had to beg that no
more jokes might be made till after tea. Then he
made such a funny grave face that it was worse then
his jokes—that is to say, better, for it made them
laugh the more.

At last the tea was over, and then their father
went into the study to light up the snap-dragon,
which was not to be seen till it was in a blaze.

“ When it is ready I shall ring the dinner-bell,” he
said; “the snap-dragon bell it shall be for the
present.”

He went, and the children sat in suppressed excite
The Sledge. 41



ment waiting for the summons; five minutes passed
—seeming a long, long time. Then suddenly out
rang the bell, so loudly that it made them all
jump.

“ Now’s the time,” shouted Regie, running into
the hall, the others folowing him; but little Ada
was not so sure of the pleasures of snap-dragon, she
caught hold of her mother’s hand and held it very
tight.

But she held it still more tightly when she came
into the study ; for it looked a terrible place at first
sight, she thought. There was no light there except
what came from the snap-dragon, and that was an
uncomfortable light ; pale flames jumping and darting
up and down, and making everything look odd and
unnatural. Could that great figure with the blue
light upon its face be really only dear father? And
those shadowy creatures dancing round, so pale, with
streaming hair, could they really be only her own
brothers and sisters? Poor little Ada was almost
crying, while everybody else laughed.

“-Where’s my little Ada?” said her father’s voice,
presently.

“Here she is, dear father,” said the mother. “ But
42 Little Ada’s Fewels.



Iam not sure that she does not think snap-dragon
rather too serious for a jest.”

The father took her up in his arms—‘“ Why, you're
not frightened, little one ?” said he. “ Look at Regie
pulling the plums out.”

“Oh, don’t let him, he’ll be burned !” she cried.

“ Not I,” returned Regie, his voice rather impeded
by the raisins in his mouth. “Look here, Ada ; here
are some for you.”

Ada was not quite happy enough to care about
the plums, and her thanks were spoken in a very
faltering voice.

“You see, little one,” said her father, “it is not a
real fire to hurt you, only to frighten you ; and when
a thing is meant only to frighten you, never be
frightened at it. Why, if the birds knew that the
scarecrow was only a scarecrow, they wouldn’t be
scared, you know.”

“ And what would they do?”

“Come and perch on it and not be frightened at
all, and the gardener would cry and say—‘ Oh, what
bad birds! they won’t be frightened when I frighten
them.’ There’d be a thing ”

Ada clasped her hands round her father’s neck—


The Sledge. 43

“T should like to see them,” she whispered. ‘ What
naughty little birds they’d be—wouldn’t they ?”

“ Hurrah !” cried Regie, “I got such a handful
then.”

“So did I,” Mary putin. “It’s going out, you
know.”

And so it was ; a few more blue flames flitted over
it, and then it went out. The room was dark.

“ And now for the fire and the story,” said Ada’s
father, as he carried her off.




CHAP. IV.—FATHER’S TALE,

ON CE upon a time there was a little boy who,
AO} being left an orphan when he was only a little
baby, was brought up by his grandmother and his
aunt. That is to say, his grandmother, who was
a very commanding lady, brought him up ; and his
aunt, who was a lady quite unable to command any-
thing, looked on and admired.

They lived in the manor-house of Wayland, and
this manor-house and the park round it and most
of the village beyond were to be the property of this
little boy (whose name was Reginald Wayland) when
he grew up.

“T bring him up with the greatest care,” his
grandmother used to say of him. ‘TI consider it a
duty not to my family only, of which he is the
head, but also to the county. Ido not forget that
father’s Tale. 45
the head of the Wayland family has usually been
one of the leading men of the shire.”

Grandmother Wayland thought a great deal of the
Waylands, and of Reginald, and of herself. She
felt like a queen-dowager at Wayland, and she
looked it, as she went sweeping about in her long
silk skirts, with her white cap making a sort of veil
behind her. She was a stately lady.

Her daughter was far from stately; she was a
little, low-spirited, chilly lady, and looked like a
poor weak echo come alive. Her mother told her
she was not. a bit like a Wayland, and snubbed her
very much.

Indeed, Mrs. Wayland was rather given to
snubbing everybody but Reginald. That young
prince was perfection in her eyes as he was in his
aunt’s, and, if the truth must be told, in his own too.
Never was there such a wonderful boy, said the
household ; and as Reginald never went anywhere
but to the clergyman of Wayland village, who was
his tutor, and never saw any other boys, there is no
wonder if he déd in time persuade himself that he
was unique in this planet. Perhaps the person who
esteemed him least was his tutor, a learned old
46 Little Ada’s Fewiels.



gentleman, who often shuddered at Reginald’s verses,
and rebuked him for idle curiosity and gossip.

“There never was a boy so full of curiosity,” said
the clergyman.

“ He has a most enquiring mind,” said the grand-
mother, “It is in the family.”

“But he is always prying into what does not
concern him.”

“ Everything concerns an enquiring mind,” said the
grandmother, loftily. ‘There never was such a boy
for getting to the bottom of things.”

Which was true, for he had tumbled into the
pond, and into his grandmother’s deep drawer, and
into the pig’s tub, in his ceaseless endeavour to see
what was there.

“‘T only wanted to know, you know,” was his one
apology when they fished him out again.

Reginald’s grandmother was not his only guardian;
he had another whom he had never seen, a Colonel
Wayland, who was with his regiment in India.
When the heir of Wayland was rather more than
sixteen years old, and a “ perfect little gentleman,”
his friends said, this Colonel returned to England.
He had only a short leave at home, though, and he
father’s Tale. 47



therefore begged that Reginald might meet him on a
certain day at Wantsbridge, a town some fifty miles
from Wayland, whence he could go with his guardian
to the sea-side. For the doctors had ordered the
Colonel to spend his leave at the coast.

Great were his grandmother’s fears, and many were
the tears of his aunt ; but Reginald was charmed at
the idea of going anywhere alone ; he persuaded them
that he should want no servants with him, and
obtained their consent to the adventure.

Behold him, then, saying good-bye to them on the
platform, taking with him their fondest hopes and
wishes, besides the most striking of railway rugs, the
neatest of light leather portmanteaus, and a pocket
full of money. His grandmother also entrusted him
with a letter for the Colonel.

« And remember, my dearest boy, that you change
at Norton,” said she, solemnly.

“ All right, grandmamma,” said he, assured that it
was the easiest thing in the world. And so it was ;
but he was so unused to railway arrangements, that
he missed first his rug, then his portmanteau, and
then his train at Norton. After which he had to
wait there—at the tiniest of stations—in a waiting-
48 Little Ada’s Fewels.
room about four feet square, looking at a newspaper
a fortnight old. In consequence of all which pro-
ceedings the Colonel met the wrong train at Wants-
bridge, and missed him altogether.

“* However,” thought Reginald, after looking for a
gentleman of military appearance in vain, “ I daresay
he will turn up by-and-by; and meanwhile, I can go
freely to the hotel and order my dinner.”

This he did with a grand air, and then, leaving his
goods there, went out to inspect the town. It was
in the fleeting bustle of its market-day, and Reginald, —
accustomed to little Wayland, was quite bewildered.
Indeed, he got into the middle of a herd of oxen,
and stepped into a mosaic of crockery-ware on the
ground, before he found himself out of the market-
place and in the High Street. There, there were
some nice, bright shops, which soon attracted him—
for his admiration for shop-fronts was only equalled
by his admiration for his own shirt-fronts—and he was
presently standing quite fascinated before a jeweller’s
window.

If Reginald had a taste for anything, it was for
gems ; he had inherited some valuable family jewels,
and his grandmother had some more ; at any rate, he
Father’s Tale. 49

flattered himself he knew a good stone when he saw
one. Those were fine amethysts in the window,
surely; and what an emerald ina pin! The sense of
having money in his pocket came over him very
forcibly ; he must go in and enquire the price of those
things.

A good-natured looking farmer was looking in
too. Reginald was in the habit of addressing people
out of doors quite afiably, like George the Third ; so
he remarked to the farmer, “ These are nice stones.”

“ Ay, that they be, mon,” he answered in broad
Yorkshire; ‘‘and there they stays. There’s a queer
old chap as keeps ’un—he’d sooner look at ’un than
sell ’un, by what folks tell me.”

“ Not a very good tradesman, I imagine.”

“Oh, he is as he is, and so is the pigs,” said the
man, shortly, and he moved on; while Reginald
murmured, ‘ Honest fellow, no doubt; but no
manners,” and went into the shop, while a lady who
had stopped and heard him speak to the farmer
followed him in. It was a small, rather dark place ;
and a little, sharp-faced old man, uncommonly like
a grey rat, was standing, or rather faegting about
behind the sounter. 4

D
50 Little Ada’s Fewiets.

No one else was there, and Reginald rather drew
back to let the lady speak first ; but she said nothing,
and the rat-like man, darting his head at Reginald
as if he were going to bite, asked what he could have
the pleasure of showing him. The young man (he
would never have forgiven the name of ‘ boy,” and
with his tailor’s help looked twenty at the least)
asked to see the emerald pin which he had ob-
served in the window. The jeweller gave a doubt-
ful look at Reginald, and his eyes fell upon a hand-
some diamond pin which the young dandy was
wearing. The old man’s eyes sparkled at the sight,
and he poked forward his head again as if to smell
the stone.

However, as the customer merely repeated his
request, the man produced the pin reluctantly.

“ There’s a stone!” said the jeweller. “Ah! you
can’t match it. I tried hard for another, meaning to
make a pair of earrings of them ; but it was no good,
no good ; you could not expect to see two of them.”

Reginald asked the price, and seemed rather
startled when he heard it. “Twenty pounds!” he
repeated.

“Tt’s a long price,” said the seller, candidly ; and
father’s Tale. 51
he looked hopefully at the buyer, but the hope was
that the buyer would not buy. For this eccentric
shopman had a mania for stone-collecting, and did
not want to live out of his shop. He was a man of
means, as his neighbours said. But he was dis-
appointed ; Reginald drew forth his pocket-book,
and put down his bank-notes. Very, very slowly
the jeweller counted them; once more he looked at
his dear emerald before he closed the case and tied
up the parcel. All this while Reginald’s eyes were
roaming round the shop, where a strange system of
wires and springs along the walls excited his curiosity.

“What are those things for?” he asked.

The man showed all his teeth with a grin.
“When my door is closed for the night, those wires
are fastened to it in this way,” said he, speeding
round his shop, as if he were scrambling about a
cage. ‘In this way, sir—see! Then these springs
are in communication with the door, see—my own
contrivance—and pull the trigger of a gun concealed
here—see! so that if a thief attempted to open my
door during the night, he would be shot, or at any
rate the alarm given—see! Not bad, sir?” and he
laughed excitedly, while the hands showing his con-
52 Little Ada’s Fewels.



trivance quite trembled with eagerness. “Ah! they
robbed me once, years ago, and I resolved it should
not happen again. See! the same contrivance extends
to my shutters, likewise to my inner door. So you
see I’m safe; and what is of more consequence, so are
the stones.”

“But,” Reginald went on with his “enquiring
mind,” “suppose the thieves tried to get in without
opening the door or the shutters?”

The little man did not seem to like this way of
putting the question; he shot an angry gleam of
suspicion out of his restless eyes, and seemed to
regret his communicativeness.

“Sir,” he said, crossly, “a thief, being a person
of an ill-regulated mind, would probably try and get
into a house without opening the door. All I need
say is, that if he does, I am still ready for him.”

Reginald, after half-a-dozen more questions, which
did not gain much information, suddenly remembered
the lady who had been there so long, and who only
wanted a new glass to her watch. Meanwhile, our
young friend hastened to his hotel, and tried the
effect of his new purchase on half-a-dozen neck-ties
of various colours. He was still gazing in the glass,
father’s Tale. 53



when the waiter came to say his dinner was ready.
But he was above being disconcerted by a waiter,
and finished his study of himself before he went off
to his meal.

He made it a long dinner; but there was still a
long evening after it, and the summer night seemed
pleasanter out of doors than in. So he went out into
the moonlight, and wandered about a long time, till
all the town was asleep; then he went in, and to sleep,
too. Fresh and dewy and sparkling the morning woke
him at last, and he rose, wondering what steps he
should take to find his guardian, and whether he
had better wait where he was for letters. Still
pondering this, and wishing in between that shaving
formed part of his toilette, he dressed himself and
went down to breakfast.

He found the coffee-room almost empty; but a
group of servants were standing just outside the door,
talking eagerly, and of course Reginald stopped to
ask what they were talking about.

“There was a robbery in the town last night, sir,”
said the head waiter.

“A robbery!”

“ Robbery, sir; yes, sir,” returned the man, as if
54 Little Ada’s Fewels.



he were taking an order for one. Then stepping
nearer to Reginald, he said, confidentially, ‘ Often
been said in the town, sir, that it would occur before
this. Eccentric old gentleman, sir, known to be rich.
Pve heard it said these five years that he would be
made away with for the sake of his hoards,”

“ Made away with! Is anybody murdered, then?”

“ Murdered, sir! no, sir!” and the waiter answered
less briskly, as though something had been ordered
which was not in the house.

“ But robbed, sir! Mr. King, the jeweller, in the
High Street, it is, sir!”

“King, the jeweller! Why, I was at his shop
yesterday!” Great sensation followed, and he was
flattered into adding, “I bought this pin there!” A
rush of chambermaids and others to look at it was
not so pleasant, and he escaped to his breakfast.

He was still playing with the remains of his coffee
and newspaper, when he became aware that he was
again honoured by the attention of the excited
domestics. Whispering was heard outside the door ;
then a head with a smart cap on appeared, and the
eyes beneath the cap took a good stare at him; then
another head, capless and masculine, took its place, °
Father's Tale. 55
and another stare followed. Various heads now
appeared in rapid succession; even rough and ragged
ones, fresh from the stables, took their turn amongst
the rest.

“Well, never!” ‘Who'd have thought it!” and
the like exclamations of surprise were heard at
intervals.

What did it mean? Had they discovered that he
was the heir of all the Waylands? or did his elegant
and striking appearance make them take him for a
prince slightly disguised? Anyhow it was rather
embarrassing, and he endeavoured to look lost in
thought—-a most difficult operation. He felt he was
blushing visibly, and plunged again into his news-
paper, reading the Court Circular over and over again.
“The Queen drove out this morning. Prince Leopold
visited the International Exhibition.”

Then came a louder whisper. “Why! he’s such
a young-looking chap !”

Was it possible? Could Reginald Wayland be
expressed thus vulgarly in four letters? He almost
started, yet managed to keep his eyes on the print—
“The Princess Beatrice—”’ and with a sudden jerk
Her Royal Highness fell from his hand, and he
56 Little Ada’s Fewels.



perceived before him the little jeweller, panting,
trembling, grinning with rage. The gentlemen at
the other tables stared, and the chorus at the door
pushed each other in, giggling, shuffling, pushing
back, and pulling on, all at once.

“ Sir,” began the old man, in a voice that quivered
like his white lips; “the emeralds I bought at Lady
Westerton’s sale, that I had looked out for for years,
and my ’51 diamonds, are gone. I shall go mad if J
can’t recover them.”

Reginald thought he had come to ask his advice.

“ Any assistance I can offer,” he began, blandly.
' Mr. King shook with passion, and interrupted
him hoarsely. ‘Only give them up. I’ve sent for
a warrant ; but let me see them safe, and I’ll let you
off. I only want my stones.”

Reginald sprang to his feet, with an exclamation
of wrath and astonishment, which immediately
brought the chambermaids rushing round him, and
screaming that he was going to murder the poor old
man now, while the breakfasting gentlemen came
forward hastily.

“Tnsolence! madness! preposterous!” stammered
the enraged young Wayland.
Father's Tale. 57



“Tt’s all very well,” said the jeweller, with a
desperate calmness. “It is very easy to talk about
insolence ; but those stones were no trifles to me,
nor to any man that knows what stones are. I met
those stones at a theatre in London, and I followed
them up for years. I found out that they wern’t a
family’s, but an old lady’s, who would leave them to
come into the market when she died. But they
came before, as it happened; for she got into debt
five years after I first met them, and she sold them,
and I bought them—went up to London myself, and
outbid some big West-end firms to get them, I did.
It happened at a time when trade was depressed in
London, and ready money was the word, so I got
them. And the papers noticed it, they did!” He
was terribly excited as he said this, and stopped
suddenly with, “And now they’ve gone.”

“Very likely,” retorted Reginald. “ But what do
you suppose I have to do with it?”

The man quite gnashed his teeth. “That you
were spying about my shop last night—you’ve that
to do with it; that you were asking me all sorts of
questions—you’ve that to do with it; that I saw you
later, with my own eyes, prowling outside my shop—
58 Little Ada’s Fewels.

you've that to do with it! Oh! you come along
with me to a magistrate, and he shall find out what
you have to do with it.”

“Take my card; I am Mr. Reginald Wayland,”
he returned, loftily, looking round to see what
impression was produced; but there seemed to be
none at all.

“Your card!” shrieked Mr. King—“Tll take
you;” and at the moment a stout policeman added
himself to the general confusion.

“Now, Mr. King,” said this official, officially ;
“is this the gentleman you charge with being privy
to the robbery at your place last night ?”

“Yes, that’s the man.”

“Then the sooner we get into a fly, and be off to
Mr. Stuart’s, the sooner there’ll be an end of the
business,” said the policeman.

So Reginald found himself actually in charge ; his
indignation, his expostulations, treated with the
greatest indifference; all the servants of the inn
escorting him to the door, outside of which a little
crowd was waiting to “see the thief.”

They gave an ironical cheer as Reginald, the
policeman, and Mr. King drove off.
Father’s Tale. 59



It seemed a very long drive, though it lasted only
half-an-hour, before they arrived at the magistrate’s
house—a pretty, comfortable old place, half-hidden
by trees.

A respectable butler admitted them, with a glance
at the prisoner, from which Reginald shrank.

“Mr. Stuart is at breakfast just now, with a
friend,” he said; “but if you wait in the study, I
will let him know.”

“Come up about a warrant—preliminary exami-
nation,” said the policeman, as they were shown
into the study.

“ And have the goodness to give your master that,”
said Reginald, giving his card; which the man
received with a smile, and shut them into the study
and left them.

Mr. Stuart, a pleasant, rosy-faced old gentleman,
was breakfasting with his friend—a tall, thin man,
with very thoughtful eyes. The magistrate received
the announcement of his business visitors with an
easy shrug; but upon glancing at the card, he gave
a tremendous start, and throwing it across to his
friend, said—

“ What does that mean ?”
60 Little Ada’s Fewels.



His friend read—“ Mr. Reainanp WaYLAND.”

“Ts this the prisoner?” he calmly asked.

“The prisoner, sir,” said the butler.

“Then I certainly do not understand it,” said the
friend.

“But it is the most extraordinary thing—the
strangest thing!” cried the magistrate, getting up
and fussing about the room. “My boots, Johnson
—I must have my boots—and my other coat. I
must see to this at once. Such an astonishing thing.”

“ Nothing astonishing in such a boy, so brought
up, getting into any kind of scrape, when you just
let him run alone,” answered the other, quietly.

“Tl see about it, Pll see about it,” fussed the
magistrate, getting into his boots and coat rather
violently.

“ And send for me as witness to character,” said
the other. ‘Ring when you want me.”

The magistrate nodded, and entered the study,
where the three rose to greet him. ‘ What is this?”
he said, bowing, and seating himself. “This must
be some mistake.”

“No, sir,” cried Mr. King, and told his sorrowful
tale.
father’s Tale. 61



“T am very sorry for your loss, Mr. King,”
returned the magistrate; “but I think I can show
you that the present charge is a great mistake.”
He rang the bell, and a moment after, the butler
opened the door and announced—

“ CoLONEL WAYLAND.”

Reginald gave a tremendous start, and then looked
down abashed, as the thoughtful eyes met his.

“Can you identify this young gentleman?” asked
the magistrate, magisterially ; and Colonel Wayland
laid claim to his ward, and demonstrated that he was
heir to a large property, and in no way tempted to
be a thief.

Half-wild with excitement, fury, disappointment,
Mr. King heard the magistrate dismiss the charge ;
and the policeman went off to hunt for the lady who
had heard the conversation. This was a suggestion
. of the Colonel’s, on hearing the story; and it led
finally to the discovery of the thief, and the recovery
of the jewels. This by the way. Left alone with
his guardian and the magistrate, Reginald felt ready
to sink into the ground. He had never felt small
before, and did not like the sensation.

But he felt smaller when the Colonel cruelly read
62 Little Ada’s Fewels.
some of his grandmother’s letters aloud, wherein she
spoke of “his manly prudence and enquiring mind.”
“It may be a partial judgment,” said Mz. Stuart,
kindly ; ‘but I hope he will justify it some day.”
And Reginald did. A few weeks of the Colonel’s
criticism and friendly satire did him good, his
misadventure still more; and when he was sent to
college two years later, there was scarcely a trace of
the conceit and curiosity which had brought him into
trouble with Mr. King.




CHAP. V.—SUNSHINE AND SHOWERS,

f HE Christmas holidays had passed away, and so
; had the snow; the sledge was put away till
frosty weather should come again ; and the childrex
had something else besides “such fun” to think of
all day.

I am afraid they did not like it quite so well, but
no doubt it was much better. Snow and fun do not
last very long generally, and we should get very tired
of them at length if they did.

One dark, grey morning, in the beginning of
February, little Ada was standing by the nursery
window, looking out—again. The prospect outside
was dismal enough ; for a white sort of mist hid half
the garden, and a slow, sad rain was falling, and
everything looked dripping and drooping, and far
from comfortable.
64 Little Ada’s Fewels.



But little Ada herself looked more dismal than
the day ; the drops rolling down the window-panes
were copied by other drops upon her cheeks. Poor
little Ada! She was a good girl, and did not ery if
she could help it, you know; but sometimes we
none of us can help it. And this was one of those
times.

The fact was, that Regie was going to school, for
the first time, that morning; and many little sisters
know what sad goings those are! Not that Regie
seemed to think it sad himself, but the contrary.
At this moment he was breakfasting in state at the
dining-room table with his father, while his mother,
Edith, Frank, and Mary were looking on. Regie
was eating and talking away as fast as he could, and
loudly pitying Frank for not being old enough to go
to school too.

Frank looked rather unhappy at losing his brother ;
but made answer in his own slow way—‘If I
wait long enough, I shall grow as old as you in time.”

“ And then when you come,” pursued Regie, “I
shall know all about the place, and the fellows; and
I shall show you about, and tell my friends to be
civil to you, because you're my brother.”
Sunshine and Showers. 65



“Very kind,” put in his father, laughing; “but
perhaps you'll have learned not to be so condescending
by then. Now, it’s getting late; are you almost
ready? We shall have to be off.”

“ Already ?” said the mother, rather faintly.

The father laughed again, but not a very merry
laugh. “Why! I believe you would like to keep
him altogether, my dear,” he said.

“No! it would not be good for him; but this
first parting is sad;” and her eyes filled with
tears,

Regie rushed upstairs, banged into the nursery,
kissed baby, Ada, and nurse; declared that Ada
made him so wet, he wanted an umbrella ; and even
while Ada was eagerly wiping her eyes to give him
a dry kiss, he had rushed downstairs again.

The carriage was at the door; his mother, sisters,
and Frank were in the hall; there was a great deal
of kissing; and then Regie felt his mother’s arm
round him, and she was whispering in his ear that he
was to try and be a good boy, and write to her often,
and remember what she had told him last night.
“ Yes, I will, mother,” was all he could say, for the

tears he dreaded so much were coming ; he ran off,
E
66 Little Ada’s Fewels.



jumped into the carriage, and his father after him.
They drove away. Mother left the hall ; the brother.
and sisters looked in each other’s faces, and felt very
dull, Then their governess was seen, wrapped in
her waterproof, hastening up the garden-path ; and
they slowly made their way to the schoolroom.

I am afraid Frank was rather sulky over his
lessons that morning ; he did not like being left to
his. studies “with girls,” when Regie had gone to
school, The others were too low-spirited to be
naughty ; but they did not get on very well, and
when their governess remarked upon it, Mary said
she “wished it was to-morrow, for to-day was
wretched.”

Mother looked sad, too, at their dinner; and,
indeed, nothing cheered up much, indoors or out,
till the evening came on, and the shutters hid the
grey wet out of doors, and the fire and lamp burned
brightly within. Things began to look a little more
cheerful then ; but best of all for their spirits was
the sound of the carriage-wheels returning.

They ran into the hall to greet their father, who
came in looking brighter than sunshine, carrying
various parcels in his hand.
~

Sunshine and Showers. 67



“ And how are you all?” said he, kissing their
mother, and taking up baby in his arms. “ You
were all worse than the weather this morning; I
hope you've cleared up by now, or I shall certainly
take cold myself.”

“We are better now, I hope,” smiled the mother.
“ But how did you leave Regie ?”

“As happy as a king. His cousin Mark took
possession of him, and introduced him to two or
three boys he had met at grandpapa’s last year.
They were all very busy in a great covered place,
where they have swings and all sorts of things to
practise athletics upon. Regie was delighted, and
so busy swinging on a bar head-over-heels that he
could hardly afford me a good-bye.”

“T hope he won’t hurt himself,” said the mother.

“Not he. Then I drove round by grandpapa’s as
I came back, and he promised to go over and sce
him soon. It is only five miles from his house to
the school, you know. Think of that, Ada! When
you go to stay at grandpapa’s in the summer, as we
hope you will, you can see Regie’s school.”

“ But it will be his holidays then, father dear.”

“ Ah, but the school will stand there even when
68 Little Ada’s Fewels.



Regie is not in it! Very good of the school, don’t
you think ?”

Ada laughed, wondering in her own mind what
these “athletics” could mean. Father had said
Regie was tumbling head-over-heels, and could that
be “athletics?” What a funny word for tumbling
head-over-heels, to be sure.

“ And then,” the father went on, “1 came back
through London, which was all mud and mist, and
as sad a sight as my family this morning. I am not
often in London, I thought ; and as it looks so dis-
agreeable, I am not sorry for that. But what's the
good of going home, if that looks as bad as London?
So I went to some shops and bought a little sunshine.”

“Sunshine! Why, father,” cried Mary, “ where
could you get it?”

“Tn London, I tell you ;” and he took up some
of his parcels, which he opened, and the children
shouted with delight at the contents.

There was a grand man-of-war for Frank, and the
funniest tumbler for baby, and some beautiful
picture-books for Mary and Edith. Little Ada’s
present came out last, and it was the best, too—the
most lovely wax doll you ever saw, with curls like
Sunshine and Showers. 69



baby’s, and eyes that would open and shut, and a
beautiful dress of purple silk—handsome enough for
a queen.

“Oh, father dear!” cried Ada, when the lovely
creature was put into her arms; “is she really for
my very own ?”

“ Your very own, my pet. Look how pleased she
looks! I think she has a remarkably sweet smile,
and you've no idea how placid she looks when she
goes to sleep.”

“‘ Make her go to sleep, please, father.”

This was soon done; nurse would have been
pleased if she could have put her baby to sleep as
easily. Ada looked at her with a sigh of pleasure,
and showed her to Edith and Mary, who declared
that there never was such a beautiful doll. It was
better than their best.

“ Need she be put by with the best dolls?” asked
Ada, anxiously.

“No, no!” answered her father; “not at all.
She’s sunshine, you know; and we can’t afford to
part with that.”

“ And where’s mother’s sunshine ?” asked Edith,
in her grave fashion.
70 Little Ada’s Fewels.



“We must all be mother’s sunshine, I think,”
returned the father.

Whereat the mother seemed quite satisfied.

“T think your dolly will want some tea out of
my new tea-things,” put in Mary. “Let us take
her upstairs.”

So they took her upstairs, and showed her to
nurse, who was duly astonished at her beauty and
grand dress, and hoped Ada would take care of her.

“Yes, indeed,” said Ada. “I would almost as
soon hurt baby as this beautiful thing.”

Mary got out her tea-things, and “for this once”
nurse gave her some real tea to give the dolly ; and
Ada and Mary were very busy feasting their new
guest. Such laughing and talking went on over it!

“T wonder if Regie used to be our sunshine,” said
Ada, presently ; “and if that is why father got us
some more.”

“T don’t know,” said Mary. Edith said, “I
suppose if people lose one bit of sunshine they get
another; and then they have to be contented and
pleased with their new bit instead of their old,
though perhaps they liked the old best.” Edith

was always wise.

Sunshine and Showers. 71



“ [like having Regie better than dolly,” said Ada.

“Yes; but you ought to be glad to have got the
dolly, as you can’t have Regie,” returned the serious
sister,

“Tam; and I have got father and mother, too—
and you and Mary and Frank and baby. What a
lot of sunshine !”

Edith was right ; because she knew that we ought
to try and be pleased with what we have, instead of
only thinking of being cross about what we lose.
And Ada was right, too, in trying to remember all
the good things she had to be glad about. It is
always better to remember our good things than our
bad ones.

Baby was laughing over his tumbler, which was
such a funny, fat little man, with a red face, and a
blue ball instead of legs. He kept rolling and
tumbling about, and never tumbling down. “ Such
fun,” as they all said.

It was the first time anything had been called
“such fun” that day.

Decidedly, the sunshine had come out again ; and
if in the morning the faces had suggested umbrellas
this evening they suggested parasols !
72 Little Ada’s Fewels.



The next day, Mary and Edith both wanted to
write to Regie; and their mother said she would
give them a stamp if they wrote a nice, tidy letter.
Ada stood looking at them as they wrote, wishing
very much that she could write a letter too. But
she could only make the letters at present—making
them up into words was rather too hard.

“Tell him I will make haste and learn to write
letters,” said Ada; “and then I will write him such
a very long letter—all about dolly and every-
thing.”

“T can’t put all that,” said Mary. “He knows
you will write to him when you can.” ;

‘“‘ Next time you shall tell me all your letter,” said
her mother, “and I will write it down for you.”

“ That’s the best plan,” said Mary, very gladly ; for
Mary’s powers of letter-writing were not very great
at present. She generally began by hoping her
correspondent was quite well, and that they should
meet again soon. Then she said that mother and
father were quite well, and baby could talk a little.
She was sorry she had no more news. That was all
Mary’s letter; so she was very glad not to have all
Ada’s message to put in.
Sunshine and Showers. 73

“ Mine will be a very, very long letter, mother,”
said Ada. ‘Can you put it all in?”

“T will try ; but it must not be to-day, as Edith
and Mary are writing. Perhaps we shall hear from
Regie himself soon.”

Indeed, next day there came a letter, directed to
their mother, in very big letters, and sealed with red
sealing-wax. Mother read it first, and then she took
it upstairs to the nursery to read to them all.

“ Here is a letter from Regie,” said the mother ;
and they all rushed round to hear.

This was Regie’s letter :—

“My pear Moruer,—I am quite well, and all the
fellows here are quite well. They are very jolly
fellows. We have a Jimnasium. I like it very
much, I have learned to swing holding by my toes.
Dr. Jamison has put me in the second class. I shall
learn to swim in the summer. One fellow can
swim half-a-mile. I like school very much. I
hope you will write soon. I should like a hamper,
with a cake init. Tell Frank I hope he will come
to school soon.—I am, your loving son,

“ RecinaLD Martyn.”
74 Little Ada’s Fewels,



“There! is not that a nice letter?’ said the
mother. “ You and I must write our letter to him
to-day. Mustn’t we, Ada?”

Little Ada thought a great deal about this letter ;
there seemed to be so many things to put in it, and
she was not at all sure if they would go in a letter.
Perhaps you wanted something grander for that, she
thought.

“ Now, little Ada,” said her mother, “ you come
and sit on my lap, and tell me what to write, and I
will put it down.”

“What! every word, mother dear
as if that were too good to be true.

“Yes, every word;” and Ada laughed with
pleasure.

“T want to say that I am very glad that he likes
going to school. But I want to know some more
about that gymnasium, and what it is like. And I
am glad he can swing by his toes, and I hope he
will not tumble down. And I am afraid I shall
never like his going to school, except when he comes
home for his holidays. I have found out that he
really is our sunshine, and dolly does not do instead.
But [ love her very much ; and she is very beautiful,

Vg

cried Ada,
re

Sunshine and Showers. 75
indeed ; and nurse has made her a night-gown to gc
to sleep in, and she looks so nice in it. And then
say, mother dear X

“ But [ have not written all that yet, Ada; wait a
minute, and think what you mean to say next.”

Ada waited a minute or two, and when her
mother had finished, she went on—‘ Then, please,
tell him, mother dear, that I think Rags was very
sorry when he went away, for he did not wag his
tail all day. But Rags is quite well, and so are the
rabbits and the puss; and his bird is quite well,
and Edith feeds him every day. And I broke my
mug, but nurse got me a new one with a picture.
And baby broke his tumbler’s head off. Will that
do for a whole letter, mother ?”

“Very well; but you had better end it. Shall I
put that you are his loving sister, or what ?”

“ Oh, he knows that, mother dear !”

So her mother smiled, and finished the letter ;
and when Ada went out walking, she posted it
herself,




CHAP. VI.—BIRTH-DAY PRESENTS.

“ie D what are you so busy about just now,
Ada?” asked her mother, as she came out
one lovely April day.

For Ada was alone in the garden-path, while the
others were playing at the swing ; and she was walk-
ing about very, very slowly, with her eyes fixed on
the ground, sometimes turning over a stone with her
foot. She had been so busy that she had not heard
her mother coming, and now she looked up with a
smile.

“Oh, mother dear! I’m looking for something ;
but I must not tell you what, for it is a great, great
secret. At least it is a secret now ; it won't be by-
and-by.”

“ Looking for a secret, Ada! What a funny thing
to look for all among the stones! I should think it
would bea very hard secret to find out.”
Lirth-day Presents, 77



And the mother went on for her walk, but little
Ada stood laughing, and looking at the stones.

“‘T wonder if I shall ever, ever find one,” she said
to herself ; “how nice it would be if I could. I
should like to find a beautiful diamond to make
mother a ring, and how surprised she would be on
her birth-day.”

And little Ada stood still, with her hands clasped
together, thinking of mother’s birth-day, and such a
very, very grand birth-day present. For Ada had
not forgotten her notion of finding precious stones ;
and now she had set to work in good earnest to look
for one, for mother’s birth-day would come in a week,
and then, what a present a real bright jewel would
be, to be sure !

Do you think Ada was a silly little girl? But,
you know, nobody is very wise at six years old.

“ Such a number of stones,” she thought, “ Per-
haps if I look at them all I shall find a real precious
stone ;” and off she set again upon her search, though
the others were calling to her that they were going
to begin gardening, and she had better come too.

The sun began to be very hot indeed ; and Ada,
though she was so small, had to stoop a little to look
78 Little Ada’s Fewiels.



at the stones, so she soon became uncomfortably
warm, and very tired.

“T wonder why they are so hard to find,” she
said at last, talking to herself quite loudly, as if she
had to make herself heard.

“ Ada,” cried Edith, “won't you come and see
about your garden? What are you looking for!
What did you say was very hard to find ?”

Ada stood still, and put her hands behind her
head—“ Precious stones,” she answered, siowly.

“ Precious stones !” exclaimed Edith, in her grave
way. ‘You do not think you will find precious
stones here—do you, Ada ?”

“Why, there are lots of common stones. I thought
this was like the stones’ street, and a lot of poor
stones walking about in it ; and by-and-by if I looked
I should find some lady and gentleman stones there
too—precious stones, you know.”

“No, there are no such things here,” said Edith,
decidedly. “But nurse said she found the big
yellow one in her brooch at the sea-side ; so you must
wait till we go to the sea-side again, and then look.”
Little Ada looked rather blank.

“ But I want one for mother’s birth-day,” she said.
Birth-day Presents. 1

“We are all going to the shop on Saturday to buy
mother something, you and all—nurse said so; you
have sixpence, you know. Now, will you come and
see about your garden, for baby will try and pull
your rose-tree up ; and nurse said you must see to
your garden yourself,”

Ada’s rose-tree was an odd kind of tree, with
straggling boughs, and a most uncomfortable look
altogether. In the summer it produced some chilly-
looking buds, but they seldom appeared as full-blown
roses ; partly because Ada used to try and pull them
open too soon, and partly because she was too kind
to it, and gave it more water than it wanted.

Such as it was, though, Ada was very fond of it ;
and she heard of baby’s mischievous efforts with
some alarm.

“Oh, my poor little rose-tree !” was her ery ; and
she ran off as fast as she could to her garden.

There were the five little gardens all in a row;
Frank digging in his with such energy that he was
tossing the earth in all directions. Mary and baby
were standing in the middle of Ada’s—baby still
pulling at the rose-tree, and Mary laughing and
trying to coax him away.
80 Little Ada’s Fewels.



“Oh, baby dear !” cried the little sister, “ won't
you leave poor Ada’s flowers alone ?”

“ We will not hurt it,” said Mary. “ But do look
how he tugs! Did you ever see anyone so strong 2”

In point of fact, baby’s strength was not parti-
cularly alarming, but his sisters saw it through the
magnifying glass of love.

“He will scratch his little fingers,” put in the
motherly Edith. ‘‘ Now, baby darling, here is Ada
coming to dig up her own garden. Baby must come
and help Edith now.”

“No!” replied the young gentleman, with great
quickness ; and all the sisters laughed at his cleverness
in making such a speech.

But Edith was a firm person too, and she took
hold of baby’s hand with such decision, that he saw
it was no good to hold out, and allowed himself to
be led away.

Ada had not done any gardening lately, and her
garden was in unusually good order; perhaps these
two things had something to do with each other.
But as she brought her rake to smooth over Mary’s
and baby’s footsteps, she was surprised and charmed
to see a whole tuft of primroses in one corner,
Birth-day Presents. 81

“ Look, Mary! look, Edith !” she cried ; ‘“ I shall
have some flowers out of my own garden for mother
on her birth-day.”

“ How nice!” said Mary.

“ But perhaps they will have faded by then,” said
Edith. “Only some more buds may have come out.”

“ There are quantities of buds,” returned Ada, who
was examining the plant.

“T shall have some mustard and cress by mother’s
birth-day,” said Frank.

“T wish I had anything ; but nothing grows in my
garden,” Mary said. ‘I wish I had a greenhouse!”

Ada made no reply, the idea was too grand.

Nothing now was talked of but their birth-day
presents, and they made up their minds as to what
they would get a hundred times, and then unmade
them again.

“Well, we shall see when we get to the shop,”
Mary said at last, comfortably.

“ But it would be so silly to go to a shop just to
buy something, and not know what,” said Edith.

“T shall know what when I see it,” said Frank,
slowly. “ At any rate, it will be great fun going to
choose.”

F
82 Little Ada’s Fewels.



In the midst: of these uncertainties, Saturday
morning came ; and Mary’s mind was so full of the
shopping, that she did her lessons but badly.

As to Ada, all the little pictures in the spelling-
book seemed to her full of birth-day presents, and
she was so busy looking at them that she forgot to
learn her lesson altogether.

“ Mary,” said her governess, gravely, “ what does
this mean? You are answering most incorrectly.
When I asked what Alfred the Great burned, you
told me a mother-of-pearl pen-wiper.”

The governess looked at Mary through her spec-
tacles, quite surprised ; while Mary seemed not to
know whether to laugh or to cry.

“ Look over that again,” said the governess; “and
if you really do not know it, you must write it out this
afternoon, Now, Ada, give me your spelling-book.”

Ada gave it very reluctantly, and with a slow
look at the words, as if they were friends she was
sorry to part with.

“ Spell grass.”

But instead of beginning “ G-r,” as was expected
of her, Ada unexpectedly began to ery.

“T don’t know how,” she sobbed.
Birth-day Presents. 83



“ And what have you been doing instead of learn-
ing it?”

“Thinking about mother’s birth-day presents,”
sobbed Ada. :

“And is that what you were thinking of too,
Mary,” asked the governess, “when you made that
exceedingly unfit answer about Alfred the Great ?”

“Yes, it was ;” and Mary’s voice betrayed a slight
inclination to aeele

“Then let me remind you that the most accept-
able presents you can make a mother are the obedi-
ence and industry of her children, and that any
presents from idle and disobedient children must be
worthless. Now, sit down and learn your lesson
again, Ada.”

Ada took back the spelling-book, and was told to
learn that as a present to her mother.

“ What a horrid birth-day present,” enouehs Ada.
“Tam glad I don’t get such presents as spelling-
lessons.”

You see little Ada did not atallunderstand whatwas
meant; but you do, I daresay ; and I hope that you
make that kind of present to your mother very often.

Mary did not at all want to have her history to
84 Little Ada’s Fewels.

write out in the afternoon, so she set to work and
learned very quickly, and then repeated it without
any giggling.

Afterwards, Ada managed to spell “ grass,” and a
dozen more words like it, quite perfectly.

It was a very easy lesson, to be sure ; but then she
was very young, you know.

Everybody was glad when the lessons were over,
even Edith, who had worked on as quietly and
steadily as if there were no such things as birth-days
and presents in the world.

“T can’t think how you can, Edith,” said Mary.
. “Then you went on with your history so busily, and
seemed as if you were quite anxious to know what
became of that stupid Major André. If he wanted
not to be hanged, what did he go among his enemies
for? Besides, what does it matter now whether he
was hanged or not”

“T wanted to know, because I was sorry for him ;
and you know he went because ”

“Oh, pray, stop! ve had history enough for
one day. Stupid stuff !”

“Like the history of Goody Two-shoes,” said Ada,
sericusly.


Birth-day Presents. 85



“ And you will like the history of England by-
and-by,” said her sister. “It is very interesting,
only Mary does not remember it, that is why she
calls it stupid. You know father says that when we
think books stupid, we should try and find out
whether the stupidity is in the book or in the reader.”

Ada looked rather frightened at this sentence, and
was glad when they went back to the subject of the
day—namely, the presents.

“T should like to get what I was thinking of this
morning,” said Mary—‘‘a mother-of-pearl pen-wiper.”

“So should I,” said Frank.

“ And me too,” added Ada, very eagerly.

“ Nonsense! three mother-of-pearl pen-wipers for
one mother!” cried Mary, laughing. “You mustn’tall
copy what I say ; think of something for yourselves.”

“ Mother said the other day that she must get a
new thimble,” said Edith. ‘ And I want to buy her
one, but I have only half-a-crown ; and the best I saw
were three shillings. So, will you join me, Frank ?”

“No,” returned Frank ; “a thimble is such a
gitl’s present.”

“Tt would be useful,” said Edith.

And Mary asked —“ Do you suppose mother wants
86 Little Ada’s Fewels.



a boy’s present? Which will you give her, a top or
a whip 2?”

“ Neither,” said Frank, rather crossly ; then he
paused, as if he wished to say something to set Mary
down properly, but his ideas travelled so slowly that
they generally arrived too late. So this time he said
no more.

“May I join with you, Edith?” asked Ada.
“ There is my sixpence.”

“Very well, dear ; and we can get a nice thimble
for three shillings.”

This satisfied everyone for the present, Frank
saying he should see what he wanted when he got
to the shop. The said shop was a place the children
greatly admired and respected. A good many things
were sold there—toys hanging up inside, and all
sorts of ornaments tempting people in the window.

They felt very important that afternoon, when
nurse brought them in, and they stood in a row
before the counter. Baby, not knowing that if you
take anything out of a shop you are expected to
pay for it, immediately trotted off after a fine ball ;
and nurse had to take him up in her arms, at which
he scolded very much.
Birth-day Presents. 87



Ada, meanwhile, was looking with admiration at
the grand dolls under glass cases, and trying to
persuade herself that her own was more beautiful than
any there. ‘At least, if these do look better,” she
thought, “it is only because they are under the
glasses.” Meanwhile, some other customers who had
been occupying the shopman went away, and he
turned to Mary, saying, “ What can I show you to-
day, miss?” Mary was confused for the moment,
and forgot her pen-wiper; but Edith asked quietly
for her thimble.

Ada looked up at her with admiration; she was
just like a grown-up lady shopping, thought the
little sister. The thimble looked very grand and
bright ; and then Mary found her voice, and the pen-
wiper of her fancy—a dear little mother-of-pearl
book, with the pen-wiper part as leaves inside. But
Frank was still undecided, and when the shopman
asked what he would have the pleasure of showing
him to-day, Frank only answered, “I don’t know.”

This was so very puzzling, that there is no knowing
what the shopman would have said next, if Edith
had not luckily spied a pretty little needle-book, to
which she drew Frank’s attention.
88 Little Ada’s Fewels.



“That's just the thing,” he said, and he was going
to take it, when Mary asked, mischievously, if he did
not think a needle-book as much a girl’s present as
a thimble.

This vexed him, and he said, crossly, he was not
going to take it, then. “ Haven’t you anything of
mother-of-pearl /—not so stupid,” he added.

The shopman looked rather puzzled ; the question
certainly was vague.

“Here is a pin-cushion, sir—a yard-measure—a
bodkin-case.”

“These are as bad,” said Frank.

“Here is a nice little paper-knife—very pretty—
quite new.”

“That/ll do!” cried Frank, looking triumphantly
at Mary. “Father uses paper-knives, Mary, so you
can’t say anything now.”

“Why not?” asked Mary, laughing.

But Frank brought out his money, completed his
purchase, and walked off contented. Then what
talking there was about the coming birth-day, and
the best way of presenting their gifts!

“The best way is to put them on mother’s plate
at breakfast-time,” said Edith,
Lirth-day Presents. 89

‘“ But will she be sure to see then?” asked Frank,
thoughtfully.

“No,” returned Mary, laughing; “she will take
the paper-knife for a sausage, and eat it up.”

“J do wish you would not try and be funny,
Mary,” Frank retorted, pettishly.

“ And I wish you would,” said Mary, teasing.

“ And I wish,” said nurse, “that you would not
tease so; it is just like sticking pins into one
another, I declare.”

But the teasing temper had somehow invaded the
party, and in spite of Edith’s serious looks, Frank
and Mary became so quarrelsome, that when they
came home, nurse had recourse to her usual remedy.
She made them all sit down in their chairs round
the room, while she read them a sorrowful story.
They all knew her story, and the unusual voice she
read it in, very well; but they always cried over it.
And after they had cried, they were- generally quite
good again,

I do not expect that any naughty children will
read this book; but in case you should happen to
know any naughty children, and wish to try its
affects on them, I will tell you—Nunsu’s Tan,
SENN

CHAP. VII.—NURSE’S TALE.

HE frost was on the pathway,
The ice was on the pool ;
The school-bell seemed to shiver,
As the children ran to school.

The children’s merry laughter
Rang through the bright, clear air,

As they shook the shining, frosted bough ;
But one was silent there.

Her face was pale and gentle,
Her voice was low and shy ;
She shrank from the noisy jesting
As the merry train swept by.

It is little Mary Wilson ;
And not a year ago

They laid her father to his rest,
Down where the daisies grow.

The merry little ones have had
Of food and fire their share ;

But Mary’s home is very cold,
The cupboard very bare.
Nurse’s Tale. 91



“ Mother is cold and hungry,
And little baby too ;”
She thought that in the sunshine,
And it dimmed the sky’s bright blue,

And yet she has a comfort,
From which she cannot part—
A faith more bright than sunshine
Is lighting up her heart.

“We are poor and cold and hungry,”
So to herself she said ;

“But I think our Father knows it,
And He will send us bread.”

And when the school is over,
And she goes sadly back,
And finds her mother crying there,
By the hearth that’s chill and black—

She throws her arms around her,
And whispers, “ Do not cry ;

Mother, I think our Father knows,
He'll help us by-and-by.”

Sobbing, the mother answered,

“ Ah, child ! my heart will break !
It’s not myself I mind for,

But for yours and baby’s sake.

“The people that I’ve worked for
Have gone away, you know ;
Little Ada’s Fewels.

No other work is to be found
In all this frost and snow.

“ And I must go up to the Board,
And ask them for relief ;

I never thought to come to that !”
She cried out in her grief.

She gave the babe to Mary,
And went out through the cold;

And Mary hushed the child, and thought
Of histories of old.

She thought of Him who journeyed
Through deserts wild and long,

And how upon the green hill-side
He fed the famished throng.

She thought of Him, once too a child,
Poor, and of low estate,

Who reigns in highest Heaven now,
Within the golden gate.

“ He fed them, though they did not ask;
He has been very poor ;

He knows that we are sorrowful ;
He'll help us, 1 am sure.”

Meanwhile the weary mother
Had made her lonely way,

And waited with the faded crowd
Who asked relief that day.
Nurse’s Tale. 93

She went up pale and trembling,
And sadly spoke and cried,

When they said, “Go in the workhouse,
Since you cannot live outside.”

But she could not seek that shelter,
And from her children part ;

So silently she crept away,
With her poor bleeding heart.

The starlight time was coming,
And the fields looked dark and drear ;
The trees stood black, the wind was hushed,
The birds seemed still with fear.

The sun had set, the silence
O’er all the land was dread ;

The snow gleamed white as His great white throne,
Who shall judge the quick and dead.

And she went by the churchyard,
So-solemn and so still;

Where the snow above and the dead below,
Lay each so pale and still.

There lay her children’s father,
By the yew-trees dark and trim;

And she sobbed, “Oh! cannot he come back,
Or take us all to him?”

And she thought of him, her soldier,
And their journeys far and bright,
94

Little Ada’s Fewels.



Through days of cloudless sunshine,
And many a gleaming night ;

In lands of shining flowers,
Where the grapes hung thick and low,
And the splendour of the sunset
Flashed with a dazzling glow.

And coming near her cottage,
And groping down the lane,
She saw a pink and yellow blaze
Shine on the window-pane,

And even before her footsteps
Had reached the garden-gate,

Mary was waiting at the door,
And saying “ You are late.

“Such good news has been waiting,
I longed for you to come ;

Look how my fire blazes
To welcome you at home !”

The mother’s silent wonder
Quite took away her breath ;

“Come, warm your hands, dear mother,
You look as pale as death,

“ And sit down while I tell you,
How, all this afternoon,

I thought some help was coming 3
I knew it must come soon,

Nurse’s Tale. 95



“ And when there came a footstep,
I stood quite still to hear ;

And then a knock came at the door—
I opened, mother dear.

“ And then I saw the lady
Who was so good to you

When all our troubles came before ;
Now she has come back too.

“She promised you some work to do,
She sent us fire and food ;

And she will be our friend, she says—
Oh ! is it not too good 2”

The mother wept in silence,
But they were not tears of grief;
And Mary said, “ Our Father knew,
And He has sent relief.”

7a (OS
A Sudden Visit. 97



“How nice they look!” said Ada, when the
children were up, and turning over their parcels for
the twentieth time.

“May I run down and put them in mother’s
plate, nurse?” Edith said.

“ And let us too,” cried the rest, in chorus.

“Well, run down, and be quick back again to
breakfast.”

So they ran downstairs, meaning to go very softly ;
but as they passed by the door of their father’s and
mother’s room, a voice cried out—

“Who goes there ?”

Of course they all stopped and giggled under their
breath, and then the door opened, and their father
looked out laughing.

“What little brigands are these?” said he.

But they held up their fingers, and hushed him
mysteriously.

“Why! what!” he whispered, more mysteriously
still. “You don’t mean to say there’s a secret
about? Then I shall run away ; I am so very much
afraid of secrets.”

He shut his door again, and the children ran on.
A good deal of debate went on as to arranging the

iG


CHAP, VIII.—A SUDDEN VISIT.

ays)
Gy OTHER’S birth-day was of course a holiday

J 7s in the establishment—“ one of your holidays,

and my worst work-a-day,” as nurse used to say. It
was a great festival with the children; but Ada
could not help sighing when she first woke up, and
remembered that Regie would have no holiday that
day. The thought, indeed, was too sad for her; she
was obliged to go and think over the birth-day
presents instead. How nice it would be putting
them in mother’s plate! What would she say to
them? Ada wondered.

The presents were almost as pretty as the jewels
she wanted so much to find. They had been
neatly wrapped up by Edith the night before, and
directed in her best writing—“ Dear Mother, with
Mary’s love.” “Dear Mother, with Frank’s love ;”
and so on.
98 Little Ada’s Fewiels.



parcels in the plate, for everyone wanted a particular
parcel to be at the top, and it is evident to any-
body’s mind, that you cannot put three yarcels, one
above another, and yet have them all at the top.

However, sounds of footsteps frightened them
away, and off they scampered, leaving their treasures
still in a topsy-turvy state. Then they darted
upstairs again, and had just sat down to breakfast
when mother’s step was heard on the stairs.

“She’s found them,” cried Mary, rapturously ;
and then mother came in, kissing and thanking
them all, and receiving everybody’s “ Many happy
returns !”

She had, too, in her hand a letter from Regie, and
a photograph of his school, to the speechless delight
of his brother and sisters.

That was the beginning of a very happy day; it
was so bright and fine that they were able to spend
most of their morning in the garden, and Ada
gathered her bunch of primroses to carry to her
mother, who was delighted with them.

Then the dolls had a great feast in the afternoon,
and afterwards mother took the children for a
drive. On their return they had a merry tea in the
A Sudden Visit. 99



nursery, and afterwards, though father was unluckily
called out in the evening, mother played with
them, and they danced and had magic music till
bed-time.

“Oh, mother! how sorry I am your birth-day is
over for a whole year!” said Ada, when she was
going to bed. “I wish you had another birth-day
to-morrow.”

“How fast I should grow old, then,” said her
mother, laughing. ‘With a birth-day every day,
you would soon have a poor old mother, with white
hair and no teeth.”

“Oh no, mother! you must never have white
hair ;” and Ada hugged her, till the brown hair she
now had was rather ruffled. Then mother released
herself, and the little one went to bed.

Next day they were very busy at their lessons
again, and nothing very particular happened till the
evening, when little Ada, as she was passing through
the hall, heard the sound of carriage wheels, and ran
to meet her father. But as he came in, he called
out, to her great surprise, “Run away, little one ;
father does not want you just now.”

So off she ran, wondering very much what it
100 Little Ada’s Fewels.



meant, to tell nurse her little story ; and nurse said
no doubt her father had been seeing some poor
thing with fever, and wanted to change his coat
before he saw the children.

Ada did not understand this, and felt frightened
without knowing why. But when they went down-
stairs after tea, and father came and romped with
them in the hall, she forgot all her troubles,

The next day, when they went out walking, nurse
would not take them through the town; she said
their father wished them to go by the fields instead.
Then Ada thought of last night again, and wondered
what it all meant. Poor little Ada! She was soon
to find out.

The next day their dear baby was not his usual
merry, laughing self. He cried when he was touched,
and would not lift up his curly head, but sat all day
on mother’s lap or nurse’s; and they looked very grave
and unhappy. Their father was very busy ; he had
gone out early, and had not come home to lunch.
Many and many a time in the afternoon mother went
to the window to see if he was coming, saying how
glad she would be when he came home. The other
children she told to remain downstairs, and begged
A Sudden Visit. 101
their governess to stay and have tea with them—
which she did. The young people themselves were
not particularly grateful for this kindness, it is to
be feared. At any rate, they had to receive it.

At last their father returned, and they heard
their mother run downstairs to meet him.

“What is the matter, my dear?” he exclaimed, as
soon as he saw her.

“T am afraid baby is not very well; do come
and see him.”

The father went and looked at the little fellow,
and his face grew very grave.

“Tm afraid he is going to have a touch of this
fever,” he said, and he tried to smile ; adding, “ It is
hard on the doctor to find illness at home too;
isn’t it? But we must try and get the other
children away somewhere; we do not want an
hospital of them.”

‘Don’t mention it,” said their mother, shuddering;
and nurse put in her word—

“When I went to the chemist’s, ma’am,” she said,
“T met the Rector, and he enquired after all here ;
and when I told him I was afraid baby was going to
be ill, he said, most kindly, he should like to have
102 Little Ada’s Fewels.



all the others to stay with him, if wanted. Le
would write to you about it, ma’am.”

“Very kind; just like him,” said the father ;
“but we could not trouble him.”

He had scarcely spoken the words, however, when
a servant came up to say that the Rector himself
was there, and wishing to speak with him.

“How good he is!” said the mother, while the
doctor went downstairs to see this friend—a kind
gentleman, with very dark eyes and white hair and
a kind face—who was waiting for him in the hall.

“ Now, if baby is ill, I am come to carry off all
the others,” he began, without any “How do you
do?” or anything of that sort. “You know I ama
‘lone lorn man,’ with no one to hurt or to hinder;
let me have the children.”

“You are most kind, as usual ; but v

“Oh! nonsense about most kind. ‘The thing is,
is that little fellow of yours ill or not ?”

“Tam afraid he is going to have this fever.”

“Well, then, a pretty doctor you must be to want
to keep the others here. I shall take them away
at once; my housekeeper will take care of them.”
And the rector walked towards the school-room.


A Sudden Vistt. 103

“Stop one moment,” exclaimed the doctor.

“T shall stop when I’ve told the children to get
ready—not before ;” with which words he opened the
schoolroom door.

“Here, you small people-—Edith, Mary, Ada,
Frank! Oh, I beg your pardon, Miss Starkey ; did
not see you; hope you are well. I have come to
carry away these little plagues of yours. Now, you
children, run and get your hats and come home with
me. I have borrowed you of your father.”

They rose from the tea-table and gathered round
him in wondering silence.

“You are kindness itself,” said the father, again ;
“but I must just run upstairs, and ask mother
about it.”

He went, and the Rector stood there, asking,
“ Now, then, where are these hats of yours? I shall
carry you off, anyhow, in about five minutes; and
if you have no hats, you will disgrace me and
yourselves.”

“T don’t understand,” began Frank, slowly.

“T never supposed you did,” returned the Rector.
“Never mind ; I can’t wait till it dawns upon you.
Go and get ready, I tell you.”
104 Little Ada’s Fewels.

“ Really ?” asked Edith, with a grave look.

“Really, baby is not very well; and as your
mother can’t very well nurse him with all you noisy
creatures about, I shall take you away. ‘Don’t resist
me; I am the clergyman of the parish.”

The father came down again at the moment with
their mother, who smiled and held out her hand to
her friend.

“How can I let you be troubled with all these
little persons?” she said. “It would be trespassing
on your kindness.”

“Trespassing on a fiddlestick!” he exclaimed ;
“if youll excuse the introduction of that musical
instrument. Now, children, are you going to get
ready, or are you not? My waggonette is waiting
at the door.”

The children looked at their mother, who glanced,
smiling again, at Miss Starkey, and asked what she
thought of the plan?

That lady quite approved, and the father said,
“Tf the Rector really would not mind them for a
lay or two, till they could go to grandpapa’s, it
would certainly be a great relief to us.”

So it was settled, and the housemaid dressed them,
A Sudden Visit. 105



and received orders to follow them presently with
their luggage to the Rectory. Their parents kissed
them, and told them to behave nicely ; and Edith’s
grave face changed, and, forgetting her usual wisdom,
she began to cry, and ask to be allowed to stay with
mother and baby; but the Rector scolded her so
much for being so silly, that Ada was afraid of
crying too, and they were soon all packed into the
waggonette, and driving away through the twilight.

“It is just like a dream,” said Edith, presently
recovering herself.

“Then don’t wake up just yet,” said the Rector ;
“for I want your good company at home.”

The Rectory was a pretty house, in a garden
rather too full of trees ; and it stood on a hill outside
the town. The Rector had often had the children
to tea there, on beautiful summer evenings, when
his garden had endless treasures of strawberries, and
the table was set out under the great cedar. To go
to the Rectory they always considered a great treat.

As they now approached the door, it was thrown
open, and a tall, stately lady, no other than the
Rector’s housekeeper, appeared at it. She smiled as
she saw them coming, and then kept on smiling
106 Little Ada’s Fewels.

more and more, till they got out, when her utmost
powers of smiling were reached, and then she
laughed.

“ Poor little dears!” she exclaimed. “ How glad
I am you brought them, sir. Beds and everything
are prepared.”

“T should hope so, Mrs. Reece,” said the Rector.
“T don’t expect my company to do without beds ;
but is tea ready too ?”

“Tt is quite ready, sir; I thought they would be
glad of their tea, poor things!”

“We had half finished our tea when the Rector
came,” said Edith.

“Pooh! nonsense!” said the Rector. “You
must begin again, then ; that’s all.”

Mrs. Reece took them upstairs to the prettiest
old-fashioned bedroom, that seemed quite full of
white curtains and sweet lavender. Here she took
off their hats, and smoothed their hair, murmuring
all the time, something about poor little dears, and
tea, etc., like a comfortable purring pussy.

Then she took them down to tea in the Rectory
drawing-room—a very cosy room, with odd arm-
chairs about, and pictures on the walls, and a great
A Sudden Visit. 107

collection of china, which was the Rector’s great
pride. The children wondered why he was so fond
of it—stupid old stuff most of it looked. But they
had always stood in awe of it, since one dreadful
day, when Regie had broken a little vase all to
pieces, and the Rector had said nothing, but looked
very sorry, and their father told them that it could
not be replaced for fifty pounds. So now they
would never go near the brackets and cabinets that
held plates never to be eaten out of, cups never to
be drunk out of, and teapots into which it would
have been a crime to pour hot water.

To-night the room looked uncommonly bright
and cheerful, with the shining lamp, and china that
was to be touched, on the table, and the most
delightful cakes, that only Mrs. Reece could make,
on the china.

The Rector decided that Edith should make tea,
as he was sure she had a sense of responsibility
which made her fit to be entrusted with the power
of the teapot.

“Couldn’t I do it as well?” asked Mary.

“No, Miss Mary, I think not. With you we
should get sometimes all tea, sometimes all sugar,
108 Little Ada’s Fewels.



and sometimes you would keep us in hot water
merely.”

“What a shame!” Mary said.

The evening was a very pleasant one; the Rector
showed them so many pictures, and told them such
funny stories, that bed-time had never seemed more
unwelcome. It seemed very strange to go to bed at
the Rectory ; and when Ada was undressed, she felt
a little inclined to cry, but Mrs. Reece stayed with
her till Mary and Edith came up, and so she did
not. Mrs. Reece would have thought her such a
baby. Crying because she had to sleep at the
Rectory! Why, Mrs. Reece and the Rector slept
there every night, and they never cried, Ada felt
sure. So she shut her eyes, and soon fell asleep.
When she woke next morning, she forgot where she
was, and thought for a moment she must be in her
own little bed at home; but it all looked so
strange.

“Where am I?” she asked, springing up in some
alarm.

“Tn your bed,” said Mary. “Only, if you jump
about like that, you will soon fall out of it.”

“ You are at the Rectory, dear,” said Edith. “If
A Sudden Visit. 109



you keep still for a few moments, you will recollect
and know all about it.”

“What's the good of recollecting, when you can
ask somebody else?” said Mary.

“Tt is better to get light from inside than outside,”
said Edith, gravely; “because that is more in-
dependent.”

And Mary said, “What nonsense!” This was
her favourite reply to Edith’s sage sayings, and only
meant she did not understand them. This is what
many people mean when they call things “non-
sense.”

“IT wonder how baby is?” Mary went on.
“Fancy his being all by himself at home, poor old
pet! How spoilt he will get, to be sure.”

“ Mother will not spoil him,” returned Edith, in
a tone of calm certainty. “I am sure she would
never spoil anyone; she knows how cruel it is.”

Mary laughed, and Ada asked, presently, ‘‘ What
is scarlet fever like ?”

“T have heard nurse talk about it,” said Edith ;
“don’t you know that Miss Rosa she talks about
had it? Nurse says people look as red as that
velvet cushion in the drawing-room with it, and
110 Little Ada’s Fewels.



sometimes they are delirious, and that makes them
talk a great deal of nonsense.”

Ada laughed at this description, it quite delighted
her.

“How funny!” she exclaimed. ‘ How I should
like to have scarlet fever, and look like a cushion,
and talk nonsense.”

“Oh! you can talk a lot of nonsense without
waiting for that,” said Mary. “Never mind about
the fever, Ada.”

Their conversation was interrupted by Mrs. Reece,
who came in to know if they were quite sure that
they had slept well, and if they would like to get up
now! So Mary told her what Ada wished, and she
said, “Poor little dear! How shocking!”




CHAP. IX.—HOPES AND FEARS.

Qn children had a holiday that day, and the
Rector let them play with a wonderful old
doll’s house, which had once belonged to his mother,
and contained quite a mine of old treasures. The
day passed very pleasantly, and in the evening, as
they were all going into the drawing-room to tea,
the door opened, and their father came in. Of
course everyone rushed round him at once; but the
Rector scolded him for coming to bring them the
fever too.

“T have changed my coat, and taken all pre-
cautions,” he said. ‘You know, for the matter of
that, I might be dangerous almost any day.”

“And I daresay you are extremely dangerous,”
persisted his friend.

“Well, there! run away, my little ones; keep at
a respectful distance,” he answered, laughing. “I
112 Little Ada’s Fewels.



came in for two things—first, to say baby has it very
slightly, and is doing extremely well; next, that we
have a telegram from Aunt Mary, to say that grand-
papa wants all the creatures to be sent to him at once.”

“Then he can’t have them,” said the Rector, very
decidedly. ‘Have them sent to him! I never
heard of such a thing.”

“Tt is very kind of you u

“Kind! it’s common sense. Suppose you send
them there—thirty miles off—one of them will fall
ill directly.”

“T hope not.” /

“Don’t tell me. Of course one of them, probably
all four, will fall ill if you send them away.
Children always do.” (Here the children giggled
audibly.) “Then it will be like the House that
Jack built. Their mother will fall ill, because
they’re ill, and she can’t leave baby to go to them ;
you will fall ill, because she’s ill, and it worries you ;
Aunt Mary will fall ill, because she has you all on
her mind at once; and Mrs. Reece and I shall have
to nurse you till we fall ill too; then what’s to
happen to the parish ?”

They all laughed again, and their father suggested,


Flopes and Fears. 113



“T don’t see the likeness to the House that Jack
built.”

“Never mind, I do. But exclude the House that
Jack built from your mind, and you will see the
force of my argument.”

The end of the talk was, that the Rector should
keep the children for the present, but that their
governess should come to them every morning and
walk with them.

“Jn the afternoon we shall have a holiday, of
course,” said the Rector. No doubt a holiday in
the morning, too, would have been more acceptable
to the young people, except the sensible Edith.
However, they all had to resign themselves, whether
sensible or otherwise.

“T wish the holidays and school-days could change
places,” said Frank, after some silence that evening,
interrupting Ada and the Rector, who were telling
each other stories. ‘It would be so nice to have
holidays as a rule, and only lessons now and then.”

“ All plums; what would become of the pudding ?”
said the Rector. “No, Frank, it wouldn’t do. You
must be made useful in this world, either for
working or suffering—as was proved by a remarkable

H
114 Little Ada’s Fewels.
conversation between a donkey and a pig which I
heard one day.”

“You heard?” cried Ada.

“Yes, with the ears of my mind; they hear
funny things sometimes, I assure you.”

“Tell us a story,” said Ada.

“Tt's not much of a story—only a conversation
between the two intellectual animals I told you of.
It ran thus: One fine summer’s evening, a donkey,
fatigued with a long day’s carriage exercise, was
cropping the grass in front of a pig-stye. The pig
was lying in front of his semi-detached villa, half
asleep, and thinking of his dinners past and dinners
to come. Opening his little eyes a little away, he
let out half-a-twinkle, which fell upon the donkey
at his frugal meal. The pig felt so superior a being,
that he could afford to be condescending, so he
remarked to the donkey, ‘Why, good friend, you
look tired.’ ‘I am tired,’ he responded; ‘and if
you had dragged a cart full of stones, and received
as many thumps as I have to-day, you would look
tired too.’ ‘Drag a cart!’ cried the pig; ‘that’s a
likely thing.’ ‘Not very likely, sir, judging from
your appearance,’ said the donkey, sticking his ears
fTopes and Fears. 115



forward, and looking sadly at the pig. ‘May I ask
what you do all day?’ ‘Sleep,’ said the pig, ‘and
eat.’ ‘And what do you get to eat?’ ‘The best of
everything—in a word, wash.” ‘And what a
pleasant life you are leading. But men are too
selfish to keep you for nothing. What do they
make out of you at last?’ ‘Let us change the
conversation,’ said the pig, uneasily. ‘No, no! tell
me candidly, what do you become at last?’ The
pig, with a sigh, made answer, ‘Pork.’ And the
moral of that is, Frank, that if you will not be a
worker, you will have to be a victim.”

“Poor pig!” said Ada; “but that was a very
short story. Can’t you tell us another?”

“No; its your turn now, Ada. What will you
tell me a story about ?”

Ada thought a moment, then she laughed and
said, “I should like to tell you a true story—a story
about some little girls and a little boy. Once upon
a time, there was a dear little baby, who was ill,
and had a red fever. And once upon a time, there
was a kind gentleman, who came to their house and
took the dear little baby’s brother and sisters home
with him. And they went, and the kind gentleman
116 Little Ada’s Fewels.

was so good to them, and they were so happy,
and they lived happy ever after. That's my
story ;” and Ada put her arms round the Rector’s
neck and hugged him.

“Ts it a true story?” said he.

But their maid just then said that it was Ada’s
bed-time—an unsleasant truth—and so no more
stories were told just then.

Little Ada dreamed that night that she was eating
coals out of the fire, and the coals were very disagree-
able things to eat, as no doubt they would be; she
thought they stuck in her throat and choked her.

When she woke in the morning, she felt as if the
coals had not gone away with the dream, but that
they were still choking her in a very wretched way.

“ Edie,” she said, as well as she could, “there is
something down my throat.”

“What, my darling?” and Edie sat up in bed,
looking somewhat startled.

“There is something choking me down my throat,”
said Ada, piteously. “I dreamed I was eating the
coals ; but that was only a dream, you know.”

“You have a sore throat, I suppose,” said Edie ;
“and nurse said if we felt any sore throat we were
Flopes and Fears. HAY



to tell Mrs. Reece directly, for it might be the
beginning of the fever.”

“Oh, then don’t tell her!” said Ada, looking happy
again ; “I don’t mind if it’s that. I want to have
the fever, you know.”

“That's very naughty of you, Ada,” put in Mary;
“you'll only give mother trouble nursing you.”

Ada felt so ill already, that she was almost crying
at this speech ; but Edith told Mary not to speak so.
Of course Ada did not understand ; and if the fever
came to her, how could she help it?

While saying this, Edith was already out of bed,
and had put on her dressing-gown and slippers to
go and call Mrs. Reece. She was soon at that good
lady’s door, knocking gently and saying, “ Are you
up, Mrs. Reece? Can I come in?”

It was seven in the morning, and Mrs. Reece was
already dressed; she opened her door in a flurry,
exclaiming, “Is it you, my dear? you gave me quite
a turn Is anything the matter?”

Edith told what was the matter, and Mrs. Reece
exclaimed in dismay, and then hastily went back
with Edith. ‘And what’s the matter, my poor little
lamb?” she said. “Is its poor little throat sore ?”
118 Little Ada’s SFewels.



Ada made her little complaint, and Mrs. Reece
looked down her throat, shook her head, and said
she should like the doctor to see her at once. She
then carried off Edith and Mary to dress in another
room, and sent their maid to tell the poor doctor
that his own little girl wanted his first visit that
morning,

Ada fell asleep again when Mrs. Reece had given
her a little milk, and only woke to find her father
leaning over her. She opened her eyes with a smile,
saying, ‘‘ How soon you have come, father dear !”

He smiled too, though it had been a grave face
that first met her eye, and told her doctors had “to
come soon” when patients took to wanting them so
early in the morning. ;

Then Ada had her throat looked at, and her pulse
felt, and was asked if she had a headache, and so
forth, At last she enquired in her turn, “ Have I
the fever, father dear?”

“T am afraid so, my darling.”

“Oh! I wanted so to have it, and see what it was
like—only Mary said that it was naughty.”

“Never mind what Mary says; J think it’s very
good of you to be glad of anything so disagreeable.”
flopes and Fears. 119



So Ada was quite satisfied ; though, of course, if
she had been older, she would have seen the right in
Mary’s words, which she had not explained to her
father.

Mrs. Reece had come in again with the doctor,
and he now turned to her—

“Mrs. Reece, I shall want this little girl of mine
wrapped up in blankets enough to smother her, so that
I can put her into the carriage, and take her home.”

Ada quite laughed at that; but Mrs. Reece
looked more inclined to cry. ‘Do you think it safe
to move her, sir?” she asked.

“Tl take care of her,” said the doctor. ‘You
smother her, like the two little princes rolled into
one, and I'll carry her off without hurting her.”

“J shall be like a great big parcel!” said Ada.

“Jt will be like bringing home another great
doll,” said her father ; “ won't it, Ada? The carriage
will be round in about an hour, Mrs. Reece. I am
going back now to order a bed to be ready for her.
Good-bye till I come back, my pet,’

“ How is baby?” she asked, as he went.

“Doing very nicely ; only you do as well, and I
shall call you a good girl.”
120 Little Ada’s Fewels.



He ran downstairs, and Mrs. Reece remained, and
made Ada’s bed comfortable, and gave her some
more milk, for she was very thirsty indeed. Then
she lay quiet, thinking the hour was very long—
thinking how nice it would be to see mother again
(for a whole day away from her seemed a long time)
—thinking, too, how funny it would be to go in the
carriage, like a great parcel, in blankets!

The Rector looked in for a moment, to tell her
that he should expect her to come and finish her
visit to him another time. 1t was too shabby of
her to run away from him like that. Ada smiled at
him, and promised to come back when she might ;
thanking him, at the :ame time, for the visit she
had already had.

“T don’t call that a visit,” he said, as he went
downstairs. ;

It seemed to Ada more like two hours than one,
before she heard the carriage wheels in the garden,
and saw Mrs. Reece at her bedside with an armful
of blankets and shawls.

“Now, my dear,” said she, “if you will let me
put these round you, I thin you will be as warm
as can be.”
Llopes and Fears. 121



“T should think so,” said Ada, glancing at the
heap. “ Must I be wrapped up in them all at once?”

“Can't have too much, my dear. Ah! here’s
the doctor coming to tell you so.”

Ada’s father came in at the moment.

“ How about doing up my parcel,” said he. “See,
Mrs. Reece, this blanket all over her, I think.”

Ada found that she really was rolled up in it;
the blankets over her head and face, so that she
could see nothing, and had some trouble in breathing.
Then it seemed to her that more things were wrapped
round outside, and finally she was taken up in some-
body’s arms, and carried downstairs. Next she felt
the somebody—her father, no doubt—lift her into
the carriage, and hold her there upon his lap. Some-
body else called out “Good-bye,” and they drove off.

How very hot Ada felt, and how the blanket
tickled her face! She tried to push it off a little,
and then her father opened a little crack, and said,
“We must keep it on, my darling, if it does not
really smother you.”

“ Not quite so much, please, father,” said the poor
little voice deep down in the bundle; and then he
gave her a little more air.
122 Little Ada’s Fewels.



However, it was far from being a comfortable
drive, and Ada was glad that it was a short one.
They soon stopped again, and her father told her
they were at home.

“ How glad I am!” whispered little stifled Ada.

When the blankets were taken off, and she saw
the light again, she was in the nursery, and mother
was putting her into bed there. Nurse, with a
bundle in her arms, which no doubt contained baby,
was walking up and down the room, as if she were
hushing him to sleep.

Mother looked rather white and tired, Ada
thought ; but she smiled on her little girl as she
tucked her up in bed.

“So my little Ada has soon come back to me,” she
said,

“Oh yes, mother! and it was so nice at the
Rectory ; but it’s nicer being with you.”

“T am afraid not very nice just now,” said her
mother; “but you will try and be a good little
patient girl, I know, and give as little trouble as you
can.”

“Indeed I will, mother,” said Ada.

“T must be off now,” said father, looking in at
flopes and Fears. 123



the moment. “Can I do anything else for you,
dear, before I go?”

“T think not,” she said, “since we have had your
valuable advice for these two patients. Come back
as soon as you can. You thought Edith and Mary
really well %”

“Very well, indeed, and very sorry to part with
their little sister. Good-bye, then, for the present.”

He went away; and Ada wanted to tell her
mother all about the Rector, and his stories, and the
doll’s house, and Mrs. Reece, and the tales they had
heard and told. In fact, she felt that she had a whole
newspaper full of news to impart that morning ; but
her mother told her that she would hurt her throat,
and make herself too hot, if she talked; she had
better try and be quite still.

So of course Ada tried; but she found it hard
work ; she longed so to tell mother one thing more,
to ask one more question, or laugh over one more
piece of fun. She was just going to speak several
times, when luckily she remembered mother wished
her to be silent, and stopped herself.

Then, as to lying still, every time she thought she
was in a comfortable place in bed, she found it
124 Little Ada’s Fewels.
most wncomfortable ; the bed seemed hard, and the
pillow crooked. Something was always the matter.

By-and-by she began to notice how quiet every-
thing seemed; she had never remembered hearing
the nursery clock tick before. But now it never
left off saying, “Tick, tack! tick, tack!” till she
was quite tired of it. Now and then it gave a little
jerk, as if it was clearing its throat, and then on it
went again——“ Tick, tack ! tick, tack!”

“Ah!” said Ada, in her own mind, to the clock,
“how I wish you would stop altogether, if you
must keep on saying the same thing! How would
you like it, I wonder, if I went on saying, ‘Click,
clock!’ all day long?” But the clock never stopped
to please her.

Nurse had sat down ina i arm-chair, which was
new to the nursery, Ada thought, holding the bundle,
with baby in it, in her arms; and mother sat opposite,
doing a little work, and looking now at the bundle,
and now at the bed. So a long time passed, and
then mother asked if she would like some more
milk? And she drank some.

That was Ada’a experience of the scarlet fever ;
lying very still, and hearing the clock tick, and
Flopes and Fears. 125
seeing baby nursed, and drinking milk. She was
rather disappointed in the fever, it must be owned.

“Tt is such a stupid thing,” she said, after two
days’ experience of it.

“ What is stupid, my darling?” asked her mother.

“The scarlet fever,” said Ada; “I don’t think
much of it after all. I thought I should talk
nonsense, and look as red as velvet! It’s very
stupid; and I shall be glad when I am better.
Shan’t you, mother ?”

“More than glad, my darling—most thankful.”

But the day after Ada’s disparaging remarks on
the fever, things began to get a little more lively.
Baby was so much better, that he began to sit up in
nurse’s arms, and laugh at Ada, and crow, to Ada’s
unspeakable delight.

Soon afterwards he was able to trot about the
room and play ; and his merry little voice quite put
out the clock.

Ada noticed its tiresome “ tick, tack” no more.
Now she began to look forward to the day when
she should get up herself.

“Will it be to-morrow, mother?” she asked, one
night.
126 Little Ada’s Fewels.



Her mother said it would be as soon as father
gave leave; she thought it would perhaps be to-
morrow.

And it was to-morrow ; but Ada felt so “funny”
when she was first out of bed, that she almost
wished herself back again.

“JT feel just as if I had somebody else’s legs and
head, mother,” she said. ‘They don’t seem to be-
long to me, and I don’t know what to do with them.”

Her mother laughed, and said she would find
them more useful to-morrow.

“They're not a bit of use to-day,” said Ada.

“Then wear them for ornament,” her father put
in, “Only fancy how funny you would look
without them !”

In a day or two little Ada discovered that they
really were her own legs, and her own head; she
was able to run°about again, and play with baby.
“When will Frank and Edith and Mary come
back ?” she asked her mother.

“Not till we have been to the sea-side, and till
we and the house and all have well aired,” said her
mother,

Ada was delighted at the thought of going to the
Flopes and Fears. 127



sea-side. ‘“ Perhaps I shall find some jewels there,”

she said; “how delightful that will be!” And
nurse told her what she had found, and let Ada look
at the yellow stone in her brooch, of which Edith
had spoken to her. Ada’s head was full of dreams
of sparkling stones, as the train rushed away with
her, and mother, and baby, and nurse, to the sea.
The spring days had lengthened into summer ones
during these gettings-ill and gettings-well-again ;
and Ada and baby found plenty of other little ones
digging on the sand in the sunshine.

What castles and gardens and houses they made, to
be sure! The sand used to look quite untidy at last,
until the sea came rolling in and made it all smooth
and neat again. It was “such fun!” Ada declared
very often; but she had two regrets—one that
she could find no jewels, and one that “the others”
were not there too. £s

But Ada and mother often had letters from them;
they were having “such fun” too.

For as soon as their father thought them safe, he
let them go down and stay with grandpapa and
Aunt Mary. They had driven over and seen Regie
at school, which Ada thought the highest of delights,
128 Little Ada’s Fewels.



They were to go again to see the “athletic sports,”
in the course of which Regie was to run in a sack
race, they said.

“Oh, mother!” cried Ada; “if I could see that
too, how happy I should be!”

“Well, you know we are to join them in ten days,
just before Regie’s holidays, so perhaps you may still
be in time.”

Ada laughed for joy; only the idea seemed too
good to be true. Delightful as the sea-side visit was,
she almost wished it at an end.

The end came at last, as all ends do, you know,
whether you wish for them or not—the last
morning on the sands, and the last castle, and the
last run away from the chasing waves.

“Good-bye, sea!” said little Ada, peeping out, as
they drove to the station. ‘Thank you for all the
shells and sea we you brought me.”

“You will be sorry to leave the shells and sea-
weed,” said her mother.

“Oh no! there are the fields and the flowers,
mother dear, and the sports! Oh, only fancy if we
go to the sports !”

It was too much for talk ; little Ada was obliged
flopes and Fears. 129



to think over it, and hold her tongue ; which was
just as well, for baby was making quite noise
enough for one fly to hold already. He liked
driving so much, that he sang and shouted all the
time.

When they were once in the train, however, he
had rather too much of it, so he cried and scolded a
little, and at last fell fast asleep. After this, Ada
might not talk any more for fear of waking him
again, so she sat and watched the trees and fields fly
by, and the quiet cattle scarcely raising their heads
as the train rattled past. At length she felt tired,
and, closing her eyes, fell fast asleep. She did not
wake again till her mother touched her, and said,
“Open your eyes, my darling; we are just getting
into the station.”

Ada woke then with a start. “Is it really grand-
papa’s station?” she said; for & did not at the
moment remember the real name of the place. The
next minute she saw grandpapa himself—a tall
gentleman, with very white hair and dark eyes—
standing on the platform, and near him her own
father, who had actually taken a holiday for once,

and come to meet them.
I
130 Little Ada’s Fewels.



Baby shouted “Daddy!” at the top of his very
powerful voice ; and somebody was ringing a great
bell, and somebody else bawling the name of the
station; and the engine was making extraordinary
noises, which nothing (I hope) but an engine could
make. Altogether, there was quite an uproar; and
little Ada felt confused as she was lifted from
the carriage, and kissed by grandpapa and father,
and finally taken out of the station. Here was
grandpapa’s carriage waiting for them, but nobody
in it, because all the room was wanted for them and
their luggage. It was soon thrown in, and they got
in, and drove off.

Various questions and answers were exchanged, all
bright and happy ones, except when mother asked
how Aunt Mary was. Grandpapa shook his head a
little. ;

“T am afraid she is not happy,” he said. “ You
know how patient and cheerful she always is; but
I see that she is very anxious. It is so much past
the time when her dear boy should have arrived.”

Ada understood that they were speaking of her
cousin: Harry, who was a sailor.

“T always grieved to think he should have been
fTopes and Fears. 131



‘sent to sea,” said the mother. ‘Her only one left!
It must be so hard to part with him.”

“Tt was his father’s wish,” said grandpapa ; “and
the boy, too, wished to follow his father’s profession ;
but it is a dreadful trial for my dear Mary. I see
in the newspaper to-day they speak of great anxiety
respecting the fate of the ‘Ocean Queen ’—Harry’s
ship—and one other. It was such stormy weather
soon after they started.”

There was silence after this, until they heard a
great shouting from a field they were passing, and
there they saw Mary and Frank perched upon a
gate, waving their hats to them. The carriage was
stopped, and they ran up and kissed their mother
and the others.

“ Where’s Edith?” asked the mother.

“Tn the field near the garden, making wreaths to
crown the door-post with flowers, she says; but I
don’t think she will get them done in time for you,”
said Mary, laughing.

Then Frank and Mary were told to make haste
home across the fields, while the carriage drove
round by the road. “May I go with them, mother?”
Ada asked. So she was unpacked out of the car-
132 Little Ada’s SFewels.



riage, and ran off, feeling rather stiff at first after
her long journey.

They had so much to tell that they all talked
at once, and nobody listened much, till at last they
came to the field where Edith was sitting making
garlands, watched by a pet goat, who rather wanted
to pull them to pieces again. As soon as Ada saw
her, she set off running so fast that she dropped her
hat, but she did not stop to put it on again.

On she sped, like the wind, until she threw
herself down on the ground beside her sister, and
put her arms round her.

“Oh, Edie! Edie dear! what fun it is to get you
again!”—she could say no more, but began kissing
her sister, in quite a wild way.

“ Dear little Ada,” she returned ; “how nice it is
to get you back! But you’ve'come rather too soon ;
I have not finished my wreaths.”

But she did not seem to mind that much, as she
jumped up and ran off to the house to meet mother
and baby.

People do not so much mind about the tokens of
rejoicing when they have the real rejoicing in their
hearts.





CHAP. X.—THE JEWELS FOUND.

joa forgot in her gladness what she had heard in
the carriage about poor Aunt Mary’s anxieties ;
but she remembered it again when she saw the sweet
face, paler and more like moonlight than ever ;
she saw that the smile came less often, and that
generally Aunt Mary was very silent and grave.

She sat nearly always in a seat near the window
with her work, stitching away very busily at
clothes for the poor. But every now and then she
raised her eyes and looked along the garden path,
and over the fields, as though she hoped to see some-
one coming. Then when no one came, she worked
on again very quickly, and sometimes with trembling
hands.

Poor Aunt Mary! Her thoughts were with the
ships upon the sea, or with the poor broken wrecks
134 Little Ada’s Fewels.



down below under the waves, where so many loves
and hopes and joys had gone down too.

A day was coming, however, that put all sad
thoughts, for the time, out of Ada’s head—not to
mention Edith’s and Mary’s and Frank’s—I mean
the day before Regie’s holidays began, the day of
the athletic sports.

How the children talked about the great occasion
the day before! How often they looked at the
skies to see what were the chances of fine weather !
It was a beautiful and very hot day; in the
afternoon the clouds gathered, and there was a
heavy shower. I am sorry to say that it was
accompanied by another shower from little Ada’s
eyes. She was so afraid it would rain to-morrow,
she said.

But there was Frank laughing at her, and her
grandpapa kindly assuring her that the weather-
glass told him it really would be fine to-morrow.
So she dried her eyes, and began to think she had
been rather silly ; especially when, in another half-
hour, the sun shone out again bright and clear.

The business of dressing went on very briskly,
and then they were allowed to take a run in the
The Fewels Found. 135
garden before breakfast. How fresh and sweet the
air was—everything twinkling with dew, and look-
ing, Ada thought, as if one of the stars had fallen on
the ground last night and broken to pieces! They
had one nice run on the gravel—for Edith would not
hear of the grass—and then ran in to breakfast.
They all had breakfast together at grandpapa’s, and
Ada remarked to herself how white Aunt Mary
looked. No wonder; for the newspaper that
morning had said that it was now believed that the
“Ocean Queen” had gone down in a terrible storm,
some two months since.

The children were inclined to talk a great deal
of their expected pleasures, but they were hushed by
mother, who saw that Aunt Mary’s head was aching.
Of course she did not say that, but she made the
little chatterers understand that the chattering must
stop for the present.

The breakfast was over all the sooner for that,
and then the children spent the morning in the
garden. The sports did not begin till two o’clock,
and they were to drive over to see them after their
early dinner.

That time came, only too late to satisfy their
136 Little Ada’s Fewels.



impatience, and very little dinner could they take in
their excitement. Aunt Mary was not there, so
mother let them laugh and talk, only telling them to
go up quietly when they went to put their things on.

“ Are you not coming too, mother?” Edith asked.

“No, my dear, I am going to stay with Aunt
Mary; grandpapa is good enough to take care of you.”

“ And I hope you will be good enough to be taken
care of,” said grandpapa, smiling.

They were disappointed not to have mother to go
with; but still it was a very merry-looking party
that was’ packed into the large open carriage, and
driven away through sunshine and shade.

Ada’s excitement about seeing the school, Regie,
and the sports, increased with every mile they drove.
Luckily there were only five miles, and then they
came in sight of such a large red and white building,
that Ada thought it looked more like a palace than
a school.

It stood in a large park, in which they saw a great
many carriages and people, and countless boys
running about. And Ada wondered if Regie could
be among them.

Presently the carriage entered the park, and
The Fewels Found. 137



followed a good many other carriages up a broad
path leading to the school. As they came near it,
@ merry voice shouted out—“Oh! here you are!
How jolly! Where’s mother ?”

And there was Regie, looking very funny, with
a coat buttoned over a red shirt, and a red cap on
his head.

“You had better get out here, sir,” he said to
grandpapa, “and let me take you on to the course.
Carriages stay outside.”

So they all got out, and Regie seemed very glad
to see them, but he did not kiss them, which Ada
thought odd.

He was in a great hurry to lead them to the
“ course ’—a great even space in the path, with ropes
all round it—where the sports were to take place.
Outside the ropes were a good many seats, and quite
a crowd of people sitting and standing. At one end
was a large tent, and near it stood five big boys
talking,

“Those are the committee,” said Regie. ‘ They
start us, and see all fair. The prizes are in the tent.
Will you come and see them?”

They followed him there, and saw a great row of
138 Little Ada’s Fewels.
shining silver mugs, biscuit boxes, and the like, all
set out.

“How grand!” said Ada. “It’s like a shop.”

“ Here are some cards,” said Regie; and he gave
them each a printed card, with a list of races, jumps,
and throwing of balls and hammers, and all the boys’
names who were going to take part in them. When
Ada saw “Junior Sack Race,” and the name of
“Reginald Martyn” underneath, she felt quite
proud.

Regie then took them back to the ropes and told
them where to stand, as the first race was just going
to begin. The children stood looking in breathless
excitement. There were about six big boys going to
run this time, and very odd they looked in red, blue,
striped, and orange shirts and caps—“ just as if they
were painted,” said Ada.

There was a white line chalked on the grass, and
every boy set his foot on it and stood, while one of
the “committee” called out—‘“ Are you ready }—
are you ready? Off!” As soon as he said “off,”
they started off like the wind, and ran as Ada had
never seen anybody run before. They flew by like
horses, making quite a wind, round the whole course;
The Fewels Found. 139



then round again. At the third round two of the
“committee” stood at the end holding a rope across,
and the boy who touched the rope first would win.

Ada held her breath; the boys around shouted
like mad things; the red, the blue, the striped ones
were all behind, only the orange seemed winning—
“He must get it,” said Mary—when suddenly the
blue started forward with two or three great bounds,
touched the rope, and won the race.

Then what shouts there were! The poor blue
looked tired enough; he leant against the ropes at
the side, panting ; and another boy who was waiting
there put on his coat and comforter, that he might
not catch cold.

Then Ada noticed that there was a smaller boy
waiting for each of the runners, with his coat and
comforter. After this came some jumping, and then
trying which could throw a cricket ball the farthest ;
then some more races.

“And now it’s the sack race!” cried Frank,
consulting his card.

Grandpapa took them to the other end of the
course, where the boys were being put into sacks
and tied up. How funny they looked with only
140 Little Ada’s Fewels.
their heads peeping out, Regie and all! The child-
ren laughed to see them.

They were put in a row like the others, and the
big boy called out—‘ Are you readyt+—are you
ready? Off!” And they went off as well as they
could; but what hard work it was getting along in
a sack !

Some jumped on like frogs, and some shuffled
along—some could not get on at all, and a good
many tumbled down and could not get up again.

Regie was one of the jumpers—hop! hop! hop!
he went—he was one of the first.

“Oh! he'll get the prize! he'll get the prize!”
cried Mary, clapping her hands.

But just as he got near the rope he rolled over,
and the next boy touched it and won.

This was disappointing ; but after all, the sports
were “the greatest” fun, they declared ; and as they
drove home, all agreed that they had never been so
happy.

“And to-morrow Regie will come home,” said
Ada. ‘Oh! isn’t it nice!”

Grandpapa sighed a little at that,

Their mother met them on the stairs, and told
The Fewels Found. 141



them she was glad they had been so happy, and they
must tell her all about it by-and-by. Now, would
they be very good and quiet, and have tea with
nurse? Aunt Mary had such a bad headache.

Rather sobered, they went to the nursery, and
were soon very busy having tea and telling nurse
all their adventures. Afterwards, baby took it into
his head to be what nurse called “ fractious,” and
screamed, so that she sent the others downstairs
while she put him to sleep.

They went down softly into the garden; it was a
beautiful soft evening, and the twilight made it dim
—not dark. Ada wandered a little way from her
brothers and sisters in pursuit of “ pussy,” who was
whisking about in the grass. Presently pussy ran
off, and Ada, standing still for a moment, saw
something shining under a bush not very far off.
A beautiful sort of light green sparkle it was ; Ada
had never seen the like before.

“J have found a jewel at last!” she. said to
herself. “So bright it shines in the dark!” anda
little timidly she went up to it and bent over it. It
seemed to be lying on a blade of grass, and another
near it; it was just like a little fire!
142 Little Ada’s Fewels.

Ada trembled with joy. “I will take the grass
and all,” she thought; and she was just picking it
when a sound of footsteps made her start. Someone
was coming up towards the house from the road.

Frightened at facing the unknown someone alone,
little Ada sprang up from her jewels, so that she
stood suddenly in the someone’s path.

“Who is that?” said a pleasant voice.

“Only Ada!” she answered, in a very weak tone.

“And what is little Ada doing here all by
herself?” No answer. “What! looking at the
glow-worms? They do look pretty, to be sure.”

“ Glow-worms! Are those glow-worms?” exclaimed
Ada, sadly. “I thought they were jewels.”

He (it was a he) laughed and said—“ Then you
have found me instead. Aren’t you glad of that?
Tam your cousin Harry.”

Ada gave a little scream of joy.

“Oh, Harry! Aunt Mary has been looking out for
you so, . She had such a headache because you did
not come.”

“My letter did not reach her, then ?”

He took Ada up in his arms and carried her to
the house, At the sight of him the other children
The Fewels Found, 143
gave a shout, which called mother and grandpapa to
thedoor. Fancy their surprise when they saw Harry
—poor Harry, who, as they thought, was drowned—
standing there with little Ada in his arms!

Mother burst into tears of joy.

“Oh, Harry! Harry!” she cried, “your mother
has been breaking her heart after you!”

Then Harry put Ada down and rushed up to his
mother’s room, and the children did not see him
again that night.

The next morning Aunt Mary’s face was quite
changed ; her eyes were full of sunshine, and when-
ever the children laughed she laughed too. And
such a laugh she had !—just like pleasant music!
It seemed that Harry’s ship had really been wrecked ;
but the crew were picked up by a ship going to the
other side of the world. He had written to his
mother that he would return home as soon as
possible ; but the letter never reached her. And he
had to come back right from the other side of the
world, while she was sitting at her window looking
out for him.

“ And where is the little jewel-finder?” said Harry,
when he came down last of all to breakfast. Ada
144 Little Ada’s Fewels.



blushed, and Mary said Ada was always looking for
jewels.

“T am sure she found one last night,” said eae
Mary, kissing her.

“Harry said they were only glow-worms,” whis-
pered Ada.

“Ah! but you found my jewel, though,” said
Aunt Mary, looking at her boy. ‘ What other
jewels do mothers want? That old Roman lady
was right who thought so. Good children are our
jewels, little Ada.”

Ada laughed—not that there was anything to
laugh at, only she was happy.

And when Regie came home that afternoon, she
was happier still; and when father joined them in
the evening, she was happiest of all.

Those summer holidays were never to be forgotten
in their peace and joy; and often afterwards, the
glow-worm’s light reminded them of those days, and
they would laugh at the remembrance of Lirris
Apa’s JEWELS.



Marcus Ward & Co., Printers, Royal Ulster Works, Belfast